Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Quinn Reinstates Prison 'Good-Time' Releases
Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill that will allow Illinois prisoners to earn time off their sentences for good behavior. While Quinn says he is satisfied that the new law contains necessary reforms, some are concerned that the state lacks the manpower to monitor prisoners once they are let out. By the latest count Illinois houses more than 48,000 inmates in a prison system designed for about 34,000.
"This law gives [the] DOC the important discretion that it did not have before and, in turn, creates a secure system to incentivize good behavior,” Stacey Solano, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said in a written statement. The department still needs to adopt rules, however, she said.
“If they don’t hire more parole officers, there’s no way they could keep up with this,” said Gerald Raines, acting president of the Fraternal Order of Police Illinois Department of Corrections Lodge #263 based in Joliet.
Quinn had suspended the Meritorious Good Time program after the Associated Press revealed that inmates, some of them violent offenders, were being released under the program after serving only a few weeks of their sentences. Quinn pulled together a group of staff members and experts who released a report in 2010 suggesting reforms that should take place before early release was reinstated. However, Quinn dropped the issue and the program remained suspended until now.
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/quinn-signs-law-reinstating-prison-good.html