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Letter to Rushville civil commitment facility in Illinois

By Sandy . . . The forced detainment of individuals after they have finished serving a sentence for a sexual crime is abhorrent. A significant number of states allow this. The men — always males, as far as we can determine — find their incarceration continued, due to a determination that they MIGHT commit another crime in the future. The purpose of such a practice is SAID to be for treatment and rehabilitation so that the persons can be returned to society. The very existence of such a practice is abhorrent enough; the failure to provide treatment and rehabilitation is unconscionable; the failure to provide them when funds have been given for the express purpose of providing them might be considered by some to be criminal. NARSOL has been alerted, initially by a detainee there, that a serious lack of rehabilitative and educational programs exist at Rushville, a facility operating in Illinois under the Department of Human Services. After diligent research into this facility, the concerns are a reality.

NARSOL has written this letter to the administration of Rushville with copies going to the governor of Illinois; appropriate administrative staff at the Dept. of Human Services, which is Rushville’s governing body; and the Chicago Tribune. We will update this as needed.

Rushville Commitment Facility, 17019 County Farm Road, Rushville, IL 62681

October 11, 2022

Dear Administrators of the Rushville, Illinois Civil Commitment Facility,

It has come to our attention that the patients at your facility have few if any programs in the way of vocational, technological, or educational training.

The Rushville facility is exclusively for persons who need treatment, and the purpose for their involuntary commitment, as we understand it, is to prepare them for release into the community. Most returning to society from a lengthy period of confinement experience difficulty finding employment. Those whose encounter with the legal system was for a sexual offense experience this difficulty even more.

This employment difficulty is compounded by the fact that many with sexual offenses are young men, often still in their teens, and they had not yet become established in a profession or received the education necessary to pursue a career. Their prison terms before being committed were their punishment, and that is completed. The current confinement is intended to be focused on treatment and rehabilitation, and we want to know what you are providing in these areas. Without them, the technological advances that have occurred during these lost years compound their lack of ability to function and survive in a society that has passed them by.

Our organization is committed to optimizing the success for persons on the registry, shown in numerous studies to contribute to a lack of recidivism, which leads to a safer society. Without appropriate classes and programs while they are confined, all chances for a favorable outcome for these individuals are erased; their chances of success, rather than being optimized, are without doubt severely diminished.

It is our understanding that the state of Illinois receives a significant amount of funding and grants for the purpose of providing these educational opportunities for Rushville’s patients. Is there a board of governors or oversight committee or any entity or person who is monitoring what is done with that money?

Please correct this unconscionable failure of your institution and let us know what steps you are taking to rectify this untenable position.

Sincerely,

Sandy Rozek, secretary and communications director, on behalf of the NARSOL Board of Directors

CC: Illinois Dept. of Human Services

The Chicago Tribune

J.B. Pritzker, Governor, state of Illinois

Grace B. Hou, Secretary, Dept. of Human Resources