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Top Judge In Illinois Wants More Money For Probation Officers

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Illinois’ top judge says years of budget cuts mean there aren’t enough probation officers monitoring criminals.

Thomas Kilbride is the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court says that there are too many cases, with too few probation workers to handle the load, and that lets criminals slip through the cracks.

In the last several years, Illinois courts have seen probation funding cut by 25-percent, from $62 million to $47 million.

Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed budget would make up the difference and then some, more than doubling this year’s funding.

State law makers might be more likely to pass that increase but they point to the salaries of the high court judges.

They make $211,000 annually which is more than Supreme Court judges in every other state but California.

Illinois judges have previously ruled that their automatic, yearly salary increases are protected by the state constitution.

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