Quinn Signs SB 2621 into Law Today! Effective Immediately, it will still take time to implement!

Posted: June 23, 2012 by tennesseetree in FOIA-Freedom of Information Act, IDOC, Local Issues
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Full Text of Press Release from State of IL, Governor Pat Quinn’s Office website

Governor Quinn Signs Laws to Improve Public Safety and Criminal Justice in Illinois
New Laws Will Crack Down on Crime; Continue to Manage Prison Population and Encourage Positive Behavior

CHICAGO – June 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today signed several new laws that together will improve public safety and criminal justice in Illinois. Senate Bill 2621 increases accountability in the state’s prison system by setting new guidelines that strengthen the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) ability to manage the state’s prison population. Forty-six other states have adopted similar laws, which also encourage non-violent offenders to pursue positive rehabilitation strategies.“Ensuring public safety is my top priority,” Governor Quinn said. “This is good criminal justice policy and good public safety policy that will manage our prison population and make non-violent offenders less likely to commit crime in the future.”SB 2621, sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), passed both houses with bi-partisan support and has been endorsed by many criminal justice organizations, including the John Howard Association. The law increases safety inside prisons by allowing DOC to award sentence credit to non-violent offenders who have shown willingness to correct their behavior through successful completion of rehabilitation.Sentencing credit has existed in Illinois law since 1978 but under the new law, inmates would only be eligible to receive sentence credit after serving at least 60 days in DOC custody. Inmates who display appropriate, positive behavior will be reviewed and evaluated by DOC to determine whether they are eligible to receive credit. Under the new law, DOC will consider and evaluate an inmate’s prior offenses, the circumstances of the inmate’s current holding offense, as well as the offender’s potential for rehabilitation prior to the decision to award sentencing credit. DOC will also have the right to revoke credit if an inmate demonstrates negative or violent behavior. As a result of the Governor’s 2009 Crime Reduction Act, there will also be a risk assessment tool in place this year to ensure that sentences are administered according to individual evaluation of the inmate.

SB 2621 also increases transparency by requiring DOC to provide annual reports to the Governor and General Assembly containing program statistics, how the new policies are being implemented and how sentence credit is being awarded. Additionally, county state’s attorneys, county sheriffs and the committing county will receive notification two weeks prior to an inmate’s release.

In order to qualify for sentencing credit, inmates will be required to successfully complete rehabilitation treatments, which could include substance abuse treatment, adult education, and behavior modification or life skills programs. Inmates may also receive sentence credit for passing the Test of General Educational Development (GED) while in DOC custody.

“Presenting inmates with an additional incentive for good behavior will improve the environment inside our facilities and allow the department to focus our efforts on violent criminals,” said Illinois Department of Corrections Director S.A. “Tony” Godinez. “Eligible inmates will now have the benefit of receiving sentence credit appropriately and responsibly as the department continues to look for effective, safe and secure methods of managing state prisons.”

SB 2621 is effective immediately.

Governor Quinn also signed additional laws to increase public safety and protect children from predators. Senate Bill 3579, sponsored by Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) and Rep. Sandra Pihos (R-Glen Ellyn), prohibits sex offenders from participating in holiday celebrations where minors are present, for example handing out candy on Halloween. The law goes into effect Jan. 1. Senate Bill 3809, sponsored by Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago) and Rep. Darlene Senger (R-Naperville), enables park districts to have criminal background checks performed to determine whether a job applicant is a delinquent minor for committing certain offenses, such as sexual assault. The law goes into effect immediately.

Senate Bill 3258, sponsored by Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) and Rep. Scott Penny (D-Belleville), clarifies violations included in the Sex Offender Registry, and prevents arrest records for reckless driving from being sealed before the offender reaches the age of 25. The law goes into effect Jan. 1. House Bill 4590, sponsored by Rep. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) and Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), adds new information, such as known gang affiliations, to inmate record files housed at the Department of Corrections. The law is effective immediately.

Update: The IL Department of Correction maintains a Questions and Answers area on it’s website to familiarize visitors with department policies and procedures. The new law passed regarding sentence credits will cause IDOC to revise some of the information posted in that section about good time credits. For now, IDOC has updated that section with the following statement:

Please note: in accordance with Public Act 97-0697 (effective 6/22/2012) the above types of credit have been amended along with other changes.  The Department has started examining and identifying policies and/or rules for revisions that may need to be promulgated through the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

This statement is the best indicator so far as to how long it will take IDOC to release any inmates early. Since it states that changes will have to be made, you can pretty much bet that the department will not act quickly to release anyone. It will more likely take until sometime after the November elections before early releases get started.

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Comments
  1. debby hall says:

    yay this has been on his desk way to long and good time shouldn’t have ever been taken away I’m excited now my bf could be home immediatly depending on how long they take to put this in effect

  2. Samantha says:

    I excited I just hope it don’t take a long time to actually make it effective …..Got mii fingers crossed ……#waitingpatiently

  3. angela says:

    I’m glad goodtime is back I think with the new changes that it will work this time

  4. violet cook says:

    i feel so sorry for the inmats..its almost like there giving him false hope thinking the could be home any day…mine is real short will be home august 30th but he still thinks he be out sooner but from what i make of this he wont…with them closing all the prisons i can only see living cond.getting worse for are inmates

  5. kathy empson says:

    I have several friends are in the prison system at the present. I write to 2 of them at least twice a month. One of my friends that is in SWICC is writing in every letter asking me if I can find out information about when the good time (6 months) off there sentence goes into affect. This is very hard for the inmates that it would put out the door or will truly shorten thier time to come home not knowing when. I know this all takes time but it was passed in June and this is August. I feel this is menataly stressful to the inmates as they have seen no one leave.

    I can relate to all the prison issues as I was an inmate myself over 12yrs ago. I spent 10yrs of my very troubled life in and out of prison. The treatment in alot of these places are inhumane for alot of the inmates. Alot are in there due to drug related problems. The treatment they offer to me was pretty much a joke. Being clean there cause you have to is nothing like life on the streets. (I am speaking fempson1959or the woman’s prisons only.) The medical care is terrible for those who have severe health issues.

    The woman are treated very differently than the men. Although all prisons are basically just a money making business the men are offered alot more. There are more prisons, more programs and more work release programs. I am not bashing the men either because both men n woman’s prison’s are have awful living conditions in most.

    I do really feel things could change for alot of inmates if the system took time to change alot of issues within the system.Since I was a repeat offender my charges would be boosted up if it was the same type of offense. To me this is being punished more than once for your crime . If the system would stop this and take a good look at each individual it would stop alot of over crowding. Its wrong to be punished more than once when you have done your time and this trouble starts as only a misdemeanor.

    My life has change alot over the yrs and I learned myself how to handle my addiction.I feel for each and every inmate with the exception of sex offenders, murders and any other violent crimes. those I believe all laws to be inforced.

    • jeanette says:

      I AGREE WITH EVERY THING YOU SAID UNTILL YOU GOT TO THE END. EVERYONE DESERVES TO BE FORGIVEN AT LEAST.EVERYONE HAS DONE WRONG BEFORE.ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE.EVEN JESUS WAS CRUSSIFIED WITH A MURDER AND A THEIF;)GUESS WHAT? THAY WERE FORGIVEN BY JESUS SO WHO ARE YOU?

      • Helen Jones says:

        Amen Jeannette, many do not understand that the way of the Lord is love and forgiveness for ALL. Moses murdered a man defending another man, and he covered it up (concealed),still God used him as one of his servants and Prophets to free his people from Eygpt. I am glad to hear about this law. I lost a son to the system, it makes me sad, but I know he is where he should be. We all must answer to our sins and pay the price. Let’s just pray and hope that the Lord will expose Winnebago law enforcers, DA office and the 17th Judicial system very soon. Too many innocent people are being charge, convicted and railroaded out of their rights, liberties and freedoms allowed to US citizens under the constitution that our Founding Fathers fought hard for us to have today. We are heading backwards in the city of Rockford folks, and it’s surrounding towns and cities! This site acts as a platform, and forum for truth, justice, liberty and exposure of falsehood! Let us all support their efforts and may the Lord’s grace be upon their works!

  6. nicole says:

    Does anyone know when good time will be in affect? There must be some kind of time table

  7. Ronald Hansbrough says:

    Would like to know will they give back the 6 months good time after the election on november 6th 2012? Or will it not come back next year?

  8. jessica says:

    I would like to know when goodtime will be comi im wanti on my boo to come home he stressi wonderi if hes comi home early or not

  9. jalisa says:

    well my husband been locked up since may 15th of 2011 for a crime that he should not have been held accountable for….i really want to know when patt quinn bringing back the good time.

  10. jammie says:

    well i hope my husband, whos in vandalia correctional center is getting his 6 months good time soon i can’t wait ..so he can be with his 2 yr old daughter and 6 months old son

  11. Dale Warren says:

    At the Vienna Corrections facility in southern Illinois the overpopulation issue is ever present and the handicapped as well as mentally ill are co- mingeled throughout the poulation creating hazardous conditions for inmates and staff alike. The IDOC solution is to wait for enough lawsuits to get filed against a warden and then like the shell game they move the wardens around and dont address the safety issues.

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