IDOC announces changes to Meritorious Good Time program
Posted by lactoselazy on January 1, 2010
Read most current information regarding status of May 2012 IDOC Sentence Credits here
It is now January 2011, and the State Legislature just passed a IL state tax hike as well as approval to borrow money to pay it’s long overdue bills. In doing so, the State Legislature has begun to deal with the State’s fiscal crisis. A new legislature is now in session and there will be more political wrangling about working out the rest of the details on financial matters. IDOC issues and any reinstatement of MGT will be part of those financial matters because they have cost the state plenty, but they will not be a priority to the legislators. We still anticipate that no action is likely to occur for several months.
Check out the “Good Conduct Highlights”. Clicking on this IDOC link below shows you a two-page PDF, showing a very clear chronological history of changes to the provisions of IDOC’s Meritorious Good Conduct policy. Good info resource.
Governor Quinn Overhauls Prison Release Program
Ends IDOC’s “MGT Push,” Will Bolster Law and Agency Operations
CHICAGO – December 30, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today announced an extensive overhaul of the Illinois Department of Corrections’ Meritorious Good Time program, a statutory release program in existence since 1978 that is undergoing a comprehensive evaluation headed by criminal justice expert Judge David A. Erickson.
The Governor’s overhaul ensures that public safety always comes first and that the meritorious credit program assists in the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders, while saving the State money during an unprecedented economic crisis. The changes are based on initial recommendations from Judge Erickson, who continues his review of the meritorious credit program.
“My mandate to the Department of Corrections is and always has been: Public safety is the top priority,” said Governor Quinn. “An overhaul of the Department of Corrections’ statutory program guarantees my commitment to safety while also making adjustments needed to improve the program’s operations.”
Governor Quinn’s overhaul includes four major areas:
Meritorious Credit Standards. Governor Quinn previously suspended and is now terminating the Department of Corrections’ recently-accelerated meritorious credit program referred to as “MGT Push,” which did not require inmates to spend at least 61 days in Department of Corrections custody before being credited with any meritorious credit. While the 61-day custody requirement had been a long-standing practice within the Department of Corrections, it is not a formal law or agency rule and was reduced by the Department of Corrections in September 2009. In order to ensure that an offender serves at least that amount of time in State custody before being credited with any meritorious credit, the 61-day requirement has been reinstated as a formal agency rule.
Enhancing Communication with Local Authorities. Governor Quinn is ordering the Department of Corrections to provide local prosecutors with at least 14-days advance notice before releasing an inmate into mandatory supervision under the meritorious credit program or into home custody under the separate Electronic Detention Program. This advance notice requirement will provide local authorities with sufficient opportunity to appropriately respond to and disseminate notices.
Improve the Law. Governor Quinn will work with members of the General Assembly to develop initiatives that will prohibit dangerous criminals from being eligible for a meritorious credit program. Presently, Illinois law dictates that those convicted of certain crimes against persons and DUIs must be included in a meritorious credit program, along with those convicted of lesser offenses.
Bolster IDOC Operations. Governor Quinn will further improve the reporting and communications between his office and the Department of Corrections. The Governor will soon name a Chief Public Safety Officer at IDOC, who will be responsible for overseeing implementation of the meritorious credit and Electronic Detention programs. In addition, Governor Quinn will name a Public Safety Liaison Officer for the Office of the Governor, who will also assist in the oversight, coordination and implementation of those programs. This position will work within the Office of Governor’s General Counsel.