* Press release…
The Illinois Department of Corrections estimates that a measure targeting repeat gun offenders cosponsored by Senator Anthony Munoz (D-Chicago 1st) and Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) could save the department $62 million over 10 years.
“Many opponents of this legislation speculated that it would drive up costs and increase the prison population due to the recommendation of tougher penalties for repeat gun offenders,” Raoul said. “This estimate from the Department of Corrections shows that, because the recommended increase in sentencing ranges is coupled with other criminal justice reforms, it could actually decrease the population and save money.”
In addition to saving millions of dollars, the Department of Corrections said the reforms could result in a decrease of 1,471 incarcerated offenders over 10 years.
The legislation increases sentencing guidelines for repeat gun offenders while enacting a series of criminal justice reforms aimed at lowering the prison population and addressing the disproportionate sentencing of nonviolent offenders.
Reforms in the legislation include:
· Reduces certain drug possession offenses from Class 1 to Class 2 and 3 felonies based on amount.
· Increases access to educational, vocational and re-entry programming for individuals incarcerated for truth-in-sentencing offenses, allowing eligible individuals to reduce their sentence up to 15 percent.
· Reduces the protected area for drug crimes from 1,000 to 500 feet, removes public housing as a protected area, and requires prosecutors to prove a connection between the crime and the protected area before a felony can be enhanced.
· Expands the eligibility for the Offender Initiative Program, Second Chance Probation and all other drug probation programs
· Reduces the period of mandatory supervised release for certain offenses and allows the Prisoner Review Board to terminate a person’s mandatory supervised release if that person is determined to be low-risk.
SB 1722 advanced out of the Senate Criminal Law committee with a 6-5-0 vote last week and will move to the Senate for consideration.
* Meanwhile, on a semi-related note, this is from Diana Popa at WalletHub…
With gun sales declining since President Donald Trump took office, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s States Most Dependent on the Gun Industry.
To determine the states that depend most heavily on the arms and ammunitions industry both directly for jobs and political contributions and indirectly through firearm ownership, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 13 key metrics. The data set ranges from firearms industry jobs per capita to gun sales per 1,000 residents to gun ownership rate.
Illinois’ Dependence on the Gun Industry (1=Most Dependent; 25=Avg.)
38th – Gun Ownership Rate
35th – Firearms-Industry Jobs per Capita
9th – Avg. Firearms-Industry Wages & Benefits
22nd – Total Firearms-Industry Output per Capita
43rd – Total Taxes Paid by Firearms Industry per Capita
3rd – NICS Background Checks per Capita
39th – Gun-Control Contributions to Congressional Members per Capita
42nd – Gun-Rights Contributions to Congressional Members per Capita
The full report is here.
* And this is from DNAInfo Chicago…
A spike in demand by city residents saw the state issue 63 percent more permits to Chicagoans to own a gun in 2016 than in 2015, according to data obtained by DNAinfo from State Police.
In 2016, some 38,712 Chicagoans got a state-issued Firearm Owners Identification card compared to 23,725 in 2015.
About 212,000 people are licensed to own a gun in Chicago, according to State Police.
The number of Chicagoans allowed to own a gun has been on the rise since 2015, when it jumped 21 percent from 2014, according to the State Police.
In addition, there has been a surge in the number of Chicagoans who obtained a permit to carry a concealed gun under a 3-year-old law, jumping 50 percent — from 13,948 in 2015 to 22,517 in 2016, according to State Police data.
* Dart aide to testify for a law to withhold bond in gun cases: Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is proposing a law making it clear that prosecutors can ask judges to deny bond for a range of gun cases — including possession by a felon, aggravated discharge of a weapon, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, being an armed habitual offender and gun possession by a gang member.