SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
The problems continue at Illinois prisons

Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012

* Mick Dumke at the Chicago Reader takes a look today at Illinois’ innumerable prison problems, including these

(T)he state’s prison population has been inching upward for years. In fact, while diversion programs and drug law reforms have helped shrink the inmate totals in most large states, Illinois has been a national leader in prison population growth, including the biggest increase anywhere in 2010, according to a recent federal report.

Although corrections officials previously predicted a drop in the inmate population, it’s grown from 44,669 in 2005 to 47,504 in 2010 to 48,380 last week. That’s an increase of about 8 percent in seven years. Over the same period, the state corrections budget has grown about 20 percent, to $1.2 billion.

We’re not just talking about violent criminals, either. Since 2005, the portion of prisoners in for nonviolent offenses has remained constant—about 49 percent. That means more people have been incarcerated for offenses like DUIs, thefts, and residential burglaries.

On the upside, fewer prisoners are in on drug charges. On the downside, drug offenses still account for 20 percent of the inmates in Illinois prisons. Nearly 800 of these prisoners are there for marijuana-related offenses.

One reason the state saw the prison population skyrocket so much in 2010 was because of the badly botched early release “push” program that set free violent offenders. The “push” program was abolished, but so was the rest of the early release program and Corrections employees claimed during the year that parole officers were scrambling to put people back into prison so that the governor didn’t have a campaign problem if one of those guys killed somebody.

Gov. Pat Quinn’s chief of staff Jack Lavin claimed the other day that the prison census was declining. But he was using very short-term numbers to justify this claim. Overall, the population has obviously grown a lot. Maybe we should start talking about at least freeing those marijuana convicts.

* Progress Illinois takes a look at the governor’s proposal to close Tamms

Edgar’s Task Force, for instance, made clear that prisoners were only supposed to be housed in Tamms temporarily: “The
 Super‐Max…is
 a
 management
 tool
 for
 addressing
 specific
 security
 problems… 

To 
serve 
its 
purpose, 
inmates 
must 
move 
in 
and 
out 
based 
on 
some 
objective 
classification 
and 
standards.”


The primary purpose mentioned above was to rehabilitate those causing trouble in other prisons. Thus, the Task Force’s report argued, prisoners must be allowed to earn their way out of Tamms based on good behavior: “Inmates would be required to earn their way to progressively less restrictive levels [of confinement], and eventually back into the general prison population… Reviews of inmate behavior would be made every 30 days.” […]

As advocacy group Tamms Year Ten has pointed out, these regulations were either never put in place or never followed. (The group’s flier on the subject, from which the above quotes were culled, is available here.)

Prisoners have been housed at the Tamms facility indefinitely — they have been moved “in” but not “out.” A third of the current inmates have been incarcerated at the supermax prison since 1998, according to Tamms Year Ten. Some of these prisoners have long since reached the highest good behavior “level” described by the Task Force; and yet they have not been returned to the general prison population. Instead, they remain imprisoned in exactly the sort of “long-term isolation” the Task Force warned against.

* Related…

* Some see Pat Quinn’s budget as attack on downstate Illinois: Quinn budget spokeswoman Kelly Kraft argued last week that the 14 proposed major facility closings are evenly divided by region, with seven in the upper half of the state, including places such as Rockford, Joliet and Aurora. However, Illinois is a state where “downstate” is commonly defined as anything outside Chicago — and just two of the 14 facilities are in the city. By that measure, some argue, Quinn’s proposed cuts show a clear geographic pattern. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he is Cook County-centered,” said Rep. Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville, who is fighting the proposed closing of the Jacksonville Developmental Center and other facilities in his area. “(Cook County) is his power base, that’s where his voting base is, that’s where his loyalties are.”

* AFSCME launches “No Quinn Cuts” Campaign to protect public services and jobs

* Hundreds rally to stop closure of Dwight Correctional Center

* Dwight rallies ’round DCC

- Posted by Rich Miller        


14 Comments
  1. - Ahoy - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 10:02 am:

    At the very least we should consider changing the Department of Corrections name to Department of Prisons since there doesn’t seem to be any correcting taking place. The tough on crime ere has been costly and counterproductive. Let us hope that we transition into a new era of rational policy.


  2. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 10:17 am:

    Don’t know if I would consider Aurora downstate….


  3. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 10:18 am:

    I wouldn’t either, OneMan.


  4. - Peggy R/Southern - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    The most press that the Bellville ND has given to state govt news in several years has been the recent stories on closing SO-IL prisons and developmental centers. The BND is pretty bad about conveying IL govt news.

    I have heard the AFSCME ads on KMOX in St Louis, which can be heard in much of SW-IL.[gratuitous cheer–Go Cards!]


  5. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 10:42 am:

    In Chicago, we had a meeting on Monday night that was held to rally support against our office merger. State Rep. Smith was kind enough to attend and lend support, as were others from different organizations, including two universities. DHS wants my office to merge with two other offices in a building that is reportedly not ADA-compliant and may have safety issues. We also had disabled people and representatives at the meeting.

    One of our proposals is to merge offices in an apparently safe, accessible building, such as my current office. We were told the planned merger is not a done deal, and Rep. Smith said he’s trying to work with Quinn’s people on a solution that will be better for the people DHS services.


  6. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    –Nearly 800 of these prisoners are there for marijuana-related offenses.–

    That’s very expensive reefer madness.


  7. - Ray del Camino - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 10:57 am:

    People have to remember that prisons generally are built in sparsely populated areas, which in our case means downstate, however defined (in the case of Tamms, way downstate); these days it also generally means Republican.


  8. - MrJM - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 12:15 pm:

    Many of the problems of Illinois prisons are not due to decisions made within the “prison system” but by legislators who demand more and harsher sentences in order to brand themselves as “tough on crime.”

    – MrJM


  9. - Shore - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 2:45 pm:

    It’s worth noting that Vice-President Biden was in Latin America this week sending the exact opposite message on narcotics-that they should not be legalized and that the status quo on prosecutions should continue.


  10. - Dan Bureaucrat - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 3:53 pm:

    It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. AFSCME and downstaters can’t defend EVERY facility. I’m curious if they will throw one or two under the bus to save others.

    There is no one I know of who wants our true safety net destroyed–or even the Secretary of State’s office, for that matter. The supermax seems to be the one facility that can be closed with a relatively large savings and little if any effect to the rest of the system.

    That’s not true with mental health facilities or transitional centers which alleviate other problems and ultimately save money.


  11. - Wilson Pickett - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 5:25 pm:

    Why not contract a large part (if not all) of it out to privately-run prisons? Over 31 other states are currently doing it because they have found it to be more economically efficient. They also feel that the prisons are now more humanely run for the prisoners.Many of the private prison firms have also purchased several of the existing prison facilities from the state governments so it also gave those states a quick-fix of needed cash. Is Governor Quinn even looking into it?Why not contact other states to ask them how it is working out for them?
    I realize that politically it will pose a problem for the governor with AFSCME but it may be time for him to make the tough decisions on what is for the good of the state of Illinois and it’s citizens rather than what is good for Pat Quinn’s future political career.


  12. - Dan Bureaucrat - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 5:51 pm:

    ==Wilson Pickett: Why not contract a large part (if not all) of it out to privately-run prisons?==

    Politically, as you point out, this is impossible. A lot of costs in prison (mental health care and medical care) are already contracted out but that is more or less a disaster and has put the IDOC under a lot of serious litigation. Overcrowding could be solved fairly easily if anyone wanted to do it and if the public would let them.


  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 7:00 pm:

    @Wilson Pickett -

    So, the state gets a big boost of revenue upfront, and then what?

    49,000 inmates is still 49,000 inmates.

    Are we going to give those private companies revenue guarantees like we did for LAZ parking and the Chicago Stadium deal?

    Only a fool would “buy stock” in Illinois’ prison system right now. The population is obviously inflated and unsustainable.

    I don’t think Dumke mentioned it, but Illinois wasnt just the leader in prison population growth. Illinois and Texas were the only two states that saw increases in their prison population. The other 48 states went down.


  14. - wishbone - Wednesday, Mar 7, 12 @ 11:26 pm:

    “It’s worth noting that Vice-President Biden was in Latin America this week sending the exact opposite message on narcotics-that they should not be legalized and that the status quo on prosecutions should continue.”

    Yeah, we haven’t done enough to destroy Mexico.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* HFS to reimburse all Medicaid providers that treat children
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Nailed it
* *** UPDATED x1 - Cullerton: "Nope" *** "Sincerely, Bruce"
* The "puppetmaster"
* Question of the day
* A few bits of common sense
* This Just In: Exelon Profits Up 22.2 Percent in 2nd Quarter
* Casino company acquires video gaming operator
* Yes, there are plenty of people to replace Kirk
* Mansion roof to be fixed
* The trend is not our friend
* *** UPDATED x1 - "Willful misreading" *** Duckworth: "I screwed up"
* Rate IllinoisGO's new online ad
* Because... Madigan
* Today's number: 76 percent
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * You can download the OnePlus 2’s wallpapers right here
        * [Deal] Verizon’s LG G4 comes with a $100 Visa prepaid card through August 12
        * Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo confirmed to get Lollipop in the UK
        * TENAA certifies Oppo A51kc with 5-inch display
        * Futhead now available as an app for Android devices
        * What’s the best way to buy a new smartphone?
        * More details surface on Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 5, no expandable storage included

        * Rejuvenated offense signals turnaround
        * Ron Darling drops in on the White Sox
        * Resurgent White Sox call on Samardzija vs. Yankees
        * White Sox get back on track against Yankees
        * Vintage Danks defuses Yankees
        * Avi sails! Garcia robs another homer
        * White Sox 8, Yankees 2: Answering a rout with a rout

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        July 2015
        June 2015
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Rauner signs bill requiring airport breast-feeding rooms
        * Facebook group helps McHenry County girl find stuffed animal
        * Safety cited in Winnebago County bid for more jail guards
        * Report finds accounting problems in East St. Louis
        * Task force hopes to help Mitsubishi and its employees
        * Medal of Honor recipient honored in Peoria
        * Chicago man charged with stealing suitcase containing wigs
        * Rockford man convicted of murder in road-rage killing
        * Work begins on University of Illinois solar farm
        * Work on Illinois State Fair venues ramps up before opening

        * Statehouse Insider: What took them so long?
        * Executive Mansion to get new roof; fundraising event coming up
        * Blagojevich attorney says he'll ask full court for rehearing
        * Executive Mansion to get roof replaced for $493K
        * Illinois' health insurance co-op among those struggling
        * Court ruling helps some child care providers amid ongoing state budget impasse
        * Rauner, AFSCME reach another contract extension; governor vetoes bill to prohibit strike, lockout
        * Court ruling helps some child care providers
        * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans after Rauner signs law
        * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans

        * This old artifact is brought to you by new money
        * Northwestern's $560 million man
        * For Navteq, a sale to its customers might be the route to success
        * Social services caught up in Rauner, Madigan fight
        * How one of Chicago's pension funds fell short


          * Storms on way -- Lollapalooza evacuated
          * Cops: Aurora boy, 14, went missing from Montrose Beach
          * Lollapalooza 2015 day three: In the Whale and Sheppard get the party started
          * Rescuers find body of Illinois drowning victim
          * Rescuers find body of Illinois drowning victim
          * Cops: Man went missing in May from Grand Crossing neighborhood
          * Man, 65, reported missing from Hyde Park area
          * 3 killed, 12 hurt in Chicago weekend shootings
          * No one hurt in drive-by shooting in Kendall County
          * Motorcyclist in critical condition following crash in Ingleside


          * Statehouse Insider: What took them so long?
          * Statehouse Insider: What took them so long?
          * Angie Muhs: Diverse views and healthy dialogue
          * Our Opinion: Don't sit on the sidelines of government
          * House Speaker Michael Madigan: Solving Illinois' crisis requires coming together in moderation
          * David Gerlach: Lincoln College ready to serve students
          * Charles Krauthammer: Among the ruins, a case of righteousness
          * Executive Mansion to get new roof; fundraising event coming up
          * Blagojevich attorney says he'll ask full court for rehearing
          * E.J. Dionne: The price Boehner pays


          * Getting Personal: Jeffrey Brown
          * Sunday Extra: Are we responsible for our life choices?
          * Rob Kanter: A tale of two ponds, and the Salt Fork
          * George Will: Taxpayers financing barbarism
          * Leonard Pitts Jr.: Hey, Dylann Roof, we've already had a race war
          * Tom Kacich: Schock's legal bills rising
          * It's time for UI to 'just do it'
          * Here's what's happening in the area's ...
          * Odds are that 'Lucky Strike' is a hit
          * Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come


          * Schaumburg woman shot after firing at police during standoff
          * Body found near Indiana Dunes may be missing Carol Stream woman
          * Seattle acquires Seisay from Detroit for draft pick
          * Excise officer arrests Gary man wanted on kidnapping charges
          * Journalist slain in Mexico City had signs of torture

          * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
          * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
          * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
          * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
          * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
          * CBD Oil, and politics
          * Simon considering state Senate bid
          * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
          * Shutdown? State may not notice
          * Rep. Bob Dold

          * Durbin says newly passed transportation bi......

          * Top GOP fundraiser questions Illinois sena......

          * A CEO raised his company's minimum wage to $70,000 a year, and some employees quit because of it
          * David Coleman to our kids. “Nobody gives a shit what you think.”
          * Logan Square rallies against CPS cuts to neighborhood schools.
          * Diane and Barry. Retirees don’t scab.
          * Sunday posts, pics and tweets.
          * Two People Shot Near Argyle Friday and Saturday
          * Morning Minute: U.S. home prices climbed in May, S&P/Case-Shiller reports
          * HUD action aims to improve integration and reduce segregation
          * Why your real estate Facebook posts fail (and what you can do about it)
          * IAR members blanket the map with responses on Ad Tax Call for Action


          * Governor Announces Appointments
          * Parents Encouraged to Include Emergency Preparedness in Back-to-School Plans - August is School and Campus Preparedness Month in Illinois
          * Governor Takes Bill Action
          * Safety Belt Use in Illinois Reaches 95.2 Percent - Drivers and front seat passengers are buckling up more than ever before in Illinois
          * IDOT Seeks Ownership of Arsenal Road in Will County - Walter Strawn Hearing Request Withdrawn, Work on Long-Term Solutions Continues




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller