Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » The problems continue at Illinois prisons
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.


* Memorial Day on social media
* It's just a bill
* Get in the game or go home
* "Right To Know" Is Wrong For Illinois. Vote No On SB1502
* *** UPDATED x3 - Madigan office begs to differ - Rauner: Not enough *** Madigan crows about procurement bill passage, urges Rauner to negotiate budget with HDems
* This Is Illinois
* Unclear on the concept
* Today's number: $484.5 million
* Board of Elections promotes doomsday scenario over $9,000 bill
* Civic Federation defends Civic Committee against Tribune attack
* HDems take tax hike bill away from Rep. Ives
* A closer look at the GOMB memo
* House Dems still can't find enough support for their own budget
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...............
<


Loading


* Illinois' Income tax hike: which Chicagoland co.....
* Illinois House full of action but no budget deb.....
* House Dems struggle to find consensus on tax hi.....
* Illinois House approves Chicago gun bill, immig.....
* The Civic Federation: Reforms, revenue and budg.....
* Rick Pearson on the latest from Springfield as .....
* Illinois lawmakers skip holiday to try to iron .....


* Illinois House full of action but no budget choice debate
* The Latest: House panel advances income tax increase
* Military vets hope 74-hour baseball game breaks world record
* Arrest made in slaying of Illinois man in Wisconsin
* Holiday weekend shooting kills 15-year-old Chicago boy
* Illinois Legislature OK's automatic-voter registration
* Illinois Legislature OK's automatic-voter registration
* Superintendents to call for full budget in Springfield
* Chicago-area mayor joins Rauner push for property tax freeze
* Fewer grads from public medical schools staying in Illinois

* Illinois House full of action but no budget debate
* House approves college grant program for 'B' students; GOP says its unaffordable
* Rauner gets bill to put ads on license plate renewal reminders
* Illinois House approves new college grant program
* Illinois House full of action but no budget choice debate
* House votes to slow down expansion of Medicaid managed care
* Legislature approves ads for license plate renewal reminders
* Illinois legislature OKs automatic-voter registration
* Superintendents to call for full budget in Springfield
* Odds against Springfield casino after amendment blocked

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* The place where media pain hurts most: Springfield
* For the GOP, it's all about the Benjamins
* Online lender Avant's reboot still hasn't yielded profit
* Mike Keiser knows where golf is alive and well. (It's not Illinois)


* Man shot in Chicago Heights
* 3 shot in Grand Crossing
* Man critically wounded in Bronzeville shooting
* 2 shot, critically wounded in Austin
* Dear Abby: Woman hides secret from disapproving family
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for May 30, 2017
* Police: 1 dead, 2 wounded in Englewood shooting
* Guentzel’s goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1
* Heartfelt ‘Wonder Woman’ finally gives a brave superhero her due
* 45-year-old man shot in Back of the Yards alley


* Onetime Ming Ling restaurant the focus of preservation efforts
* Cheap out: Five fun things to do for free
* Quigley says Russia probe is 'in its infancy'
* Monday shootings leave 5 dead, 14 wounded
* Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega dies at 83
* Bomb kills 13, hurts 24 in Baghdad; Islamic State claims responsibility
* City clash fuels fear of Islamic State foothold in southern Philippines
* Industrial building inside old Joliet prison complex catches fire, official says
* Jake Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins to Game 1 win over Predators in Stanley Cup Final
* 'Wonder Woman' review: Finally, a DC Comics movie that works


» House Democrats Divided Over Taxes
» Illinois Budget Fight Could Affect 2018 Elections
» New Lawsuit Accuses Imprisoned Former Speaker Of Sex Assault
» 17-Month Old Semaj Crosby’s Death Linked To Systemic, Family Failures
» 17-Month-Old Semaj Crosby’s Death Linked To Systemic, Family Failures
» Senate Passes Workers' Compensation Bills — Most Republicans Reject It
» State Week: Tax Hike Getting Cold Shoulder
» Popular Music Store Finds New Home On Navy Pier
» For West Side Students, Playing Outside Is Protesting Against Gun Violence
» Offline And On Paper: Chicago Teens Make Zines In An Ephemeral World


* Illinois House full of action but no budget debate
* House approves college grant program for 'B' students; GOP says its unaffordable
* Rauner gets bill to put ads on license plate renewal reminders
* Illinois House approves new college grant program
* The Civic Federation: Reforms, revenue and budget needed to right Illinois' fiscal ship
* Illinois House full of action but no budget choice debate
* House votes to slow down expansion of Medicaid managed care
* Legislature approves ads for license plate renewal reminders
* Illinois legislature OKs automatic-voter registration
* Superintendents to call for full budget in Springfield


* Goldia Hoyle
* Lois Garavaglia
* Gerrard Noonan
* Nancy Smith
* Vera Flowers
* Olga Roush
* Ray Wallace
* Nellie Kelley
* Gayle 'Kitty' Tuma-Hitt
* Leo 'Jerry' Brown


* Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1
* Braves beat Angels; Trout headed for surgery on thumb
* The Latest: Trump honors fallen in Memorial Day address
* Rasmus, Beckham big swings for Rays in 10-8 win over Rangers
* IN Current Conditions

* Teacher raised in Yorkville running agains...
* Protesters continue die-in at U.S. Rep. Ra...
* Jim Walz Will Challenge Randy Hultgren for...
* PHOTOS: Protesters stage die-in at Randy H...
* U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren's office the scen...
* Second Democrat announces bid to unseat Hu...
* Sweet: Hultgren, Roskam, Kinzinger avoid b...
* Local Republicans, Democrats praise appoin...
* Dems shift financial debate to spotlight T...
* Batavia resident announces candidacy for 1...

* Trump says he favors more money for health......

* Democrats enlist veterans against GOP - La......
* 'Inexcusable:' Durbin, Duckworth slam HUD ......

* La Primera Grocery To Close Today, May Re-Open Soon At New Location
* Provisions Uptown To Go From Soft Opening To Grand Opening on June 5th
* 700 days w/o a state budget? Why do we feel no shame at such negligence?
* Memorial Day pics in the 9th ward
* EXTRA: How time passes
* The Weekend In Chicago Rock
* The wheels of justice turn slowly for Laquan McDonald. Nearly three years and counting.
* In Jefferson Park the opposition isn’t about density. Here is a test about the issue of density: What ward do the richest people in Chicago live in and how does it compare in density to the ward where the poorest people in Chicago live?
* Republic Steel Memorial Day Massacre. Chicago. 1937.
* Chicago is a union town, charter schools are no exception.


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* iPhone 8 special AI chip, LG V30 design leaks & more – Pocketnow Daily
* Unlocked Galaxy J3 (2017) gets laid out for your viewing
* Essential accessory teased in silhouette
* New iPhone ads take on your phone… your bad, bad phone
* MetroPCS and T-Mobile Galaxy S7 gets May security patch
* Which image was taken by the DxOMark-enhanced OnePlus 5?
* Join Talk Android as a writer!

* Giolito takes the mound in no-hitter rematch
* Late rally gives White Sox edge over Red Sox
* Melky HRs, but pint-sized hit is game-winner
* Sale 'appreciative' of White Sox tenure
* Late rally gives White Sox edge over Red Sox
* Quintana to duel former teammate Sale
* Late rally gives White Sox edge over Red Sox


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

Archives
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
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




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