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State Audit of Illinois Anti-Violence Program Finds Great Problems

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Criminal Law

IAVP, Illinois Anti-Violence Program, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyIn 2010, during Gov. Pat Quinn's reelection campaign, the Illinois Anti-Violence Program (“IAVP”) was created. Known officially as the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, the program was created with the lofty goal of reducing violence throughout Chicago and Cook County via job placements, school counseling, and parenting skill training aimed at those most at risk for violence within the community. At the end of February, Auditor General William Holland conducted an extensive investigation of the program, finding that it had been “hastily implemented.”

Goals of the Illinois Anti-Violence Program

The purpose of the IAVP was to foster anti-violence prevention in Cook County by targeting those most affected by violence, as well as those perpetuating violence throughout local neighborhoods. The program, which cost $54.5 million over two years, was intended to crush gang violence prevalent throughout certain Chicago communities. The IAVP's specific focus was youth ages 16 through 24, and provided traditional summer programs and other forms of community outreach.

One notable program of the IAVP involved paying at risk youth to hand out information about inner peace promotion, and also taking such youth on a variety of field trips. The IAVP was set up through 23 local agencies, which then worked with other grassroots community organizations in order to deliver a supposed variety of services. The IAVP also gave aldermans the right to provide recommendations regarding which local community organizations should be granted money to perform violence prevention functions and programs.

Critiques of the Illinois Anti-Violence Program

Gen. Holland's report found that there were extensive and "pervasive deficiencies" in the "planning, implementation, and management" of the IAVP. The biggest critique regarding the IAVP's implementation has been that it wasted millions of dollars of funding. Gen. Holland's audit found that over two million dollars of funds were unaccounted for. In fact, during an in-depth examination of the agency records, the absence of receipts and other documentation was discovered that did not add up to the amounts submitted for reimbursement. Ultimately, over 40 percent of expenses are being questioned by the audit report. Furthermore, the population most intended to be targeted by the program did not include all of the most violent neighborhoods. In fact, out of 20 of the most violent Chicago neighborhoods, seven of these neighborhoods were excluded from the program. Other complaints about the program's implementation include that:

  • The program was rolled out too soon to be effective;
  • Internal controls were extremely weak and did not provide for adequate due diligence;
  • There was extreme noncompliance regarding lack of documentation for funding and incomplete and untimely application approvals and reviews; and
  • There existed a lack of partner and inter-agency monitoring, including the absence of site visits and the non-recovery of unutilized grant funds.
The IAVP's intended goals were to have a positive impact on the families and criminal law issues in Illinois. Sadly, a lack proper fund management, due diligence, and oversight prevented the program from achieving most of its lofty goals. If you are facing any criminal charges yourself, contact the family and criminal law attorneys here at the Law Offices of Cosmo Tedone and Barbara Morton, P.C. in Joliet, Illinois for help today.
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