drug court

Thomas Hawk | Flickr

In what some are calling a historic compromise, a broad spectrum of senators on Thursday announced support for sweeping changes in criminal sentencing laws.

The coaltion formed at a time when many Americans see Congress as dysfunctional, and lawmakers even within the same party at odds over national priorities.

Illinois Sends $7 Million To Prison Diversion Program

Dec 29, 2013
(Flickr/neil conway)


Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s office has announced $7 million in grants aimed at funneling non-violent offenders away from prison and into community-based services. 

The funds come through Adult Redeploy Illinois, a program that encourages local jurisdictions to treat and supervise certain offenders, using tools like drug courts and mental health courts.

Quinn's office says the program saves up to $17,000 per year for each offender.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Attorney General Eric Holder says the federal drug court established by the Eastern District of Missouri is exactly the kind of program needed to help address the country's soaring prison population.

"It's a holistic approach here," Holder said. "You have the court system, the prosecutor, the public defender's office the probation office. We just saw that this was kind of what we envisioned. It was something that we wanted to highlight and them duplicate."