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IDOC says crime bill will save state money

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017

* 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…

Hi Rich,

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.

* Related…

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - x ace - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 9:20 am:

    No Bond = Speedy Trial Time Reduced = Cops Better Have Good Fully Investigated Cases = State Labs Must Move Fast = No Bond May Not Work ?


  2. - Pete Mitchell - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 9:29 am:

    Cost savings doesn’t necessarily equal good policy.


  3. - Greatplainser - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    On the full site report Illinois has roughly the same gun prevalence as Louisiana. That’s very interesting. The index outweighs places like North Carolina and Georgia. Kinda puts the idea that Illinois is not a gun friendly state (people not government) into some question.


  4. - Southern Illinoisan - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Increase access to educational / vocational programming? The wait list to enroll in Mandatory Basic Education in IDOC is over 5000 offenders. The Adult Education division is woefully understaffed and is not a priority of this Administration. It will be interesting to see how this impacts current programs.


  5. - Mama - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    As long as the Feds allow anyone to own and carry a gun, it doesn’t matter what restrictions the state puts on the guns. They will get them in another state.


  6. - Mama - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    = Southern Illinoisan - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 9:45 am: =

    Education is what is lacking in the prisons and would help convicts get a legal job when they get out. Having a job cuts crime.


  7. - FormerParatrooper - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 1:27 pm:

    Mama- Respectfully, the Federal Government has a long list of persons not eligible to possess a firearm, and this has been the fact since the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the amendments since which has expanded the list of ineligible persons. There has not been to my knowledge a group removed from the list, only added to it.

    To the post: What I see missing from this is the cost to society from not having repeat gun offenders on the street. The medical costs, the costs to the victims, their families and to everyone overall are a tangible costs that should be considered as well. It may be a unpopular opinion, but even if it added to the costs of the Dept of Corrections to keep repeat gun offenders off the street, it should be done anyway. Do we really want to add victims to save a few dollars on prisons?


  8. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    ===As long as the Feds allow anyone to own and carry a gun, it doesn’t matter what restrictions the state puts on the guns. They will get them in another state.===

    Mama, that’s not how it works. The Feds don’t allow anything, they restrict it; you cannot purchase a firearm in other states (with limited exceptions for long guns purchased from contiguous states, but not all states allow this), you must purchase through a federally licensed dealer in your home state.


  9. - crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    ==Do we really want to add victims to save a few dollars on prisons?==

    1. Why are you so sure that more prison time will result in fewer victims?

    2. Is the state suddenly in the business of spending millions in order to prevent violence? If so, that is welcome news to many programs with far superior success rates to IDOC’s.


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    Simple possession of a loaded firearm outside the home is a felony for first offense, even for otherwise legit citizens who hold an FOID card, so why is NRA not opposing this bill?

    NRA used Shawn Gowder to sue the city of Chicago, he could not get a handgun license because of an old misdemeanor UUW conviction. Many people in dangerous neighborhoods feel it is better to take the legal risk to carry a gun rather than get robbed.

    In 2013 Kwame Raoul was the bad guy sponsoring a “may-issue” concealed carry bill. Once again NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde plays both sides and fails to look out for Chicago residents in the sentencing bill.


  11. - FormerParatrooper - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 2:49 pm:

    ==1. Why are you so sure that more prison time will result in fewer victims?======

    If a repeat gun offender is in prison, how will they create victims? If they are not in prison, considering thier pattern of behaviour, it is logical to conclude they will continue repeating thier offenses, creating more victims.

    ===2. Is the state suddenly in the business of spending millions in order to prevent violence? If so, that is welcome news to many programs with far superior success rates to IDOC’s.====

    I will argue that 100% of those repeat gun offenders who are in prison are not repeating thier offenses in society. Who could boast that same success rate for repeat gun offenders?

    I believe everyone, except for a very small percentage of people, deserve a second chance. Once we see a pattern of behaviour that does not conform to the expectations of civilized society, then we need to be more realistic about the amount of third, fourth, fifth, and even tenth chances we give people to change thier behaviour.


  12. - charles in charge - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 9:11 pm:

    IDOC should analyze the presumptive minimum “repeat gun offender” provisions in isolation to show how much that will COST the state. ALL of the projected savings in the bill come from the attached sentencing reforms, and not the gun stuff.


  13. - striketoo - Wednesday, Mar 15, 17 @ 10:49 pm:

    “Simple possession of a loaded firearm outside the home is a felony for first offense, even for otherwise legit citizens who hold an FOID card, so why is NRA not opposing this bill?”
    Wrong. It’s a misdemeanor.


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