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updated: 4/23/2014 4:17 PM

Redeploy Illinois diverts teens from prisons

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Human Services says a program concentrating on rehabilitating delinquent youth saved the state $60 million in incarceration costs last year.

The Redeploy Illinois program was established in 2005. It gives counties across the state money to treat troubled youths in their home communities instead of state facilities.

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Department Secretary Michelle Saddler says the program "gives youth a second chance" at becoming law-abiding citizens.

Department of Juvenile Justice data shows the average cost to house a youth at state facilities was $111,000 a year while serving a youth through the Redeploy program cost $7,000 per youth.

More than 250 youths were served in the program in 2013. Still, program officials say they fear budget cuts if the state's income tax increase rolls back as scheduled in 2015.

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