* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s radio network…
New numbers released by the Illinois Department of Corrections show that Illinois’ prison population dropped by 2,485 in the past year and by more than 4,200 since fiscal 2014.
The total prison population was 44,680 as of July 1, down from 47,165 in June 2015 and 48,921 in June 2014.
Gov. Bruce Rauner resolved to reduce the prison population by 25 percent over the next decade. He devised the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform to come up with recommendations to reach the goal. While the downward trend started before the commission released its recommendations and passed subsequent legislation, recommendations from the commission have been taken up by judges and law enforcement. […]
[The head of the John Howard Association, Jennifer Vollen-Katz] said that, even with the new lower number, Illinois’ prison system is still over capacity by nearly 12,000. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, taxpayers pay approximately $40,000 every year to incarcerate someone in Illinois.