Letter to the Editor: Lasting effects of Illinois budget crisis

By Kristi Pashia

The budget crisis in this state will result in social and economic consequences that will last well after Governor Rauner leaves office.

Last month, Wells Center, the only drug treatment center in Jacksonville, Illinois, closed down due to a lack of state funding. While the opioid epidemic is showing no signs of slowing down at all, other agencies across the state that offer treatment for mental health and substance use disorders are struggling to stay open.

Drug treatment programs and educational programs have been cut at most of the state correctional facilities, leaving little opportunity for the inmates to work towards rehabilitation.

Educational programs and substance use treatment has been statistically proven to greatly reduce the recidivism rate for those who access these opportunities while incarcerated.

The people who need educational opportunities, mental health treatment and substance use treatment the most in order to have a better chance at becoming healthy and productive citizens of this state are being shoved to the side in the name of politics.

Kristi Pashia is a senior in Social Work. 

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