Rauner calls for short-term funding for prison reforms

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling for short-term spending for prison reforms in hopes of reducing the state’s prison population over the next decade. Rauner spoke Thursday at a meeting of the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reforms. The commission was formed last year by Rauner to work on ways to cut the state’s prison population by 25 percent over 10 years. Some commission members questioned the wisdom of additional financial burdens. Rauner said the state must be willing to spend in the short term for long-term benefits. The commission presented its first set of recommendations to Rauner, including more discretion for judges to give probation and placing terminally ill or incapacitated prisoners in medical facilities or home confinement. Rauner told commissioners their work is “critically important” and “not partisan work.”