HEADLINE: State corrections officials say youth transition center 'obsolete'
DATELINE: RANTOUL, Ill.
BODY: The Illinois Department of Corrections has removed the last of its young prisoners out of a transition center at the former Chanute Air Force Base.
The move could cost the village of Rantoul, which leases the space to a private company that runs the program, as much as $100,000.
The privately run Chanute Transition Center was a facility for boys, ages 13 to 17, who were making the transition from juvenile prisons back into their communities.
Calling the Rantoul program "obsolete," Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Fairchild said officials chose to replace it with smaller and more personal "placement resource units."
"We now have - in addition to regular secure juvenile facilities in Joliet, Warrenville and Kewanee - 120 other options in how to place kids," Fairchild said.
Fairchild said the department stopped sending new youths to Rantoul a few months ago and transferred the final young people out of the Chanute facility on March 2.
"We decided to phase it out," he said. "We have been reorganizing all of our programs for the last year and a half, and this phase-out was a part of that reorganization."
The Rantoul program, which began in 1998, was a subsidiary of a for-profit company based in Florida called Correctional Services Corp.
Travis Hallock, facilities manager for the Chanute Transition Center, said he has been working with the Department of Children and Family Services to change the center's license so that it can receive youths who are not from the corrections department.
As no analysts cover the company there is no consensus estimate. All I know is that the length of Slattery's prepared remarks is directly proportional to the state of non-performance by the company, and the remarks were very long.