Judges in Cook County have begun revoking inmates’ sentences to boot camp and resentencing them instead to prison in response to a Chicago Sun-Times investigation that revealed hundreds of violent offenders were improperly sentenced to the program.
In November, the newspaper reported that violent criminals were being sent to boot camp, an alternative to prison with a focus on rehabilitation. Under Illinois law, judges are supposed to send only nonviolent criminals to the boot camp at the Cook County Jail.
In one case, a judge sentenced a convicted armed robber to the four-month boot-camp program rather than give him the sentence the law calls for — six to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Less than two years after completing the program, the man was accused of killing a college student. […]
After the Sun-Times’ investigation was published, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wrote to the county’s judges, asking them to confirm that 56 inmates who’d been sentenced to boot camp — Chaney among them — had been properly sentenced. Those inmates were being held in jail, awaiting placement in the program.
Since then, 26 inmates have been confirmed as eligible for boot camp and admitted into what’s formally called the Vocational Rehabilitation Impact Center. Beside Chaney, judges also have revoked the boot-camp sentences of three other inmates and sent them to prison. The other cases are still pending, according to the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Dart wrote that letter on December 10th. And in all that time they still have 26 cases still pending?