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Efforts to open youth prison underway

Published: Monday, April 28, 2014 11:27 a.m. CST

SPRINGFIELD — Efforts to reopen a Joliet youth prison as a facility to treat mentally ill inmates have been underway despite claims from the Gov. Pat Quinn's administration that extending the temporary income tax increase would be necessary for reopening.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers cites Illinois Department of Corrections documents in a story Monday showing the agency is working to reopen the facility and settle a 2007 federal lawsuit claiming the state has failed to address mental illness in a crowded prison system.

The documents show taxpayers already owe $20,000 for a study planning the facility. Purchasing documents show Chicago-based DLR Group Inc., started working on a feasibility study last month.

Quinn's budget was released the week before and showed $1.7 million earmarked for work beginning in July.

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