Budget cuts raise concern for inmate drug program - KMOV.com

Budget cuts raise concern for inmate drug program

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- More than 300 general population inmates sent to a LaSalle County prison set up exclusively for drug treatment are intermingling, and some experts fear that could jeopardize the program.

Gov. Pat Quinn's administration promised that inmates transferred to Sheridan Correctional Center would have no contact with those in the substance-abuse recovery program. Now Department of Corrections officials acknowledge the two groups have some contact, but say the situation is temporary.

Corrections spokeswoman Januari Smith says they share religious services sometimes and the visitation room on weekends, with no adverse effects.

Drug treatment advocates worry the interlopers could derail Sheridan's breakthrough drug-treatment program, which relies on inmates helping -- and intervening with -- one another to change behaviors and lifestyles.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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