CREST HILL — The looming closure of the Illinois Youth Center in Joliet is an important issue for residents of the 43rd District. During a recent Telephone TownHall Meeting with Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), an overwhelming majority supported McGuire in overriding Gov. Quinn’s proposed closure of IYC.
A survey during the town-hall meeting asked whether lawmakers should override Quinn’s veto of funding for IYC, and nearly 75 percent of respondents answered “yes.” In responding to questions about IYC, McGuire expressed his disappointment with Quinn.
“I’m frustrated that the governor doesn’t realize that IYC Joliet is the best place in the state of Illinois to house the most violent young male offenders in the Department of Juvenile Justice system,” McGuire said, adding that IYC is the state’s only maximum-security center for juvenile offenders.
“It has the facilities, it has the programs and it has the staff to help try to turn these young men away from a life of crime.”
In May, the General Assembly passed a budget that included full funding for IYC and other state correctional facilities. Gov. Quinn, however, vetoed the funding, cutting it half and effectively closing IYC at the end of 2012.
But the senator has other plans.
“I’m going to keep trying to convince the governor that IYC Joliet needs to stay open,” he said. The General Assembly will return to Springfield on Nov. 27 for the fall veto session, and McGuire said he plans to try to override Quinn’s veto.
“That is an attempt to restore a full year’s funding to IYC Joliet, so we can keep that facility open. It’s a public-safety issue,” he said.
“We need IYC Joliet.”
More than 2,200 people participated in the Telephone TownHall Meeting, part of McGuire’s efforts to be responsive to the constituents of the 43rd District, which includes the Will County communities of Joliet, Crest Hill, Romeoville and Elwood.
President of the Senate
Years served: 1979 - 1991 (House); 1991 - Present (Senate)
Committee assignments: Committee of the Whole; Executive; Joint Comm. on Government Reform (Co-Chairperson).
Biography: Attorney; born Oct. 28, 1948, in Chicago; B.A., political science, Loyola University; J.D., Loyola University Law School; served in Illinois National Guard, 1970-76; former Assistant Public Defender and instructor at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy; married (wife, Pamela), has five children.