(Chicago, IL) — April 4, 2011. The Chicago Sun-Times yesterday published TASC President Pamela Rodriguez’s letter-to-the-editor highlighting and praising Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s focus on substance abuse treatment over jail for those struggling to recover from drug or alcohol addiction.
As a strategy to help close Cook County’s $487 million budget deficit while reducing crime, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle wisely highlighted in her inaugural address a prominent role for substance abuse treatment as a cost-saving alternative to housing nonviolent drug users at the Cook County Jail.
“Currently, Cook County’s chronically overcrowded criminal justice system is a drain on the county’s budget and a threat to our public safety. As Cook County Board president, I will expand resources for alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders and provide treatment for addiction, educational classes and life skills training,” Preckwinkle said at her swearing-in ceremony.