IDOC Committee Notes Do Not Change MGT Status

Posted: July 14, 2010 by parchangelo in IDOC

May 31, 2012, State Legislature passes new law paving way for Early Release programs! Read latest at

Read our latest article on the chances for MGT reinstatement here: Why Hoping MGT will Return in January 2011 “Won’t Make It So”

Minutes of the April 26, 2010 IDOC Adult Advisory Committee meeting are posted online at the IDOC Corrections Website. You can find the committee minutes here.

Some people are incorrectly regarding these minutes as new information about the status and prospects of Meritorious Good Time. The minutes are a good way to monitor internal attitudes within IDOC and considerations that the agency is exploring with respect to different issues.

These minutes (the substantial part with respect to MGT is shown below) do not contain new information about MGT, and the minutes are from an April 2010 meeting. Prior news already indicated that if MGT is reinstated, the State will move to limit eligibility for the program to “non-violent offenders” only and that certain other aspects of MGT are likely to be toughened. For now, MGT remains suspended until formal action is taken, and as the meeting notes show, part of that action is likely to require a legislative change of the law authorizing MGT to make it more restrictive. This means that it will take more time to reinstate the whole program since IDOC will want to avoid being sued by any “violent offenders” who end up being excluded from the program.

The positive information of meeting minutes is the indication that overall, IDOC continues to regard MGT to be a beneficial program which it would have liked to expand in many areas if it had the power to do so. The problem is that the program conditions will have to satisfy the politicians as well as the Governor and the agency. Keep in mind that the next Adult Advisory Committee meeting is set for July 26, 2010. There is still no news of the report from Judge David Erickson to Pat Quinn regarding recommendations.

Text from the Advisory Committee meeting notes:

MGT Update – Mark Prosperi & Mike McCotter
The MGT program was suspended by the Governor on January 14, 2010.
The Department is recommending that MGT would have to be earned.  A series of factors have been developed for DOC to judge offenders to decide if inmates have earned MGT. The Department is trying to make offenders make an effort to help rehabilitate themselves.  MGT will be limited to non-violent offenders.  The Department would like to eliminate eligibility for any offenders charged with staff assault.  The Department would like to consider the new threat assessment tool; which includes offenders’ entire criminal history.  Some of the Department’s changes will require a legislative amendment.  Some aspects could require a change in statute because the current statute allows some violent offenses and the Department is recommending no violent offenses be eligible for MGT.  The statute does, however, allow the Department to review the criminal history.  The Department of Corrections’ report is in the final draft stages.  The Department’s will provide their recommendations to the Governor’s Office.
The Department has prepared an Administrative Directive and is working on necessary rule changes.  Training will need to be developed.  The Department is facing a hurdle with regards to the outdated IT system w/in the Department.
Ms. Fazal brought up the issue of overcrowding.  What if an inmate is on a waiting list for a program, but can’t participate because of availability.  She suggested offering additional educational services so more offenders can participate in the educational programming and possibly earn the MGT.  Mr. Berry also expressed his feeling that DOC needs to provide more opportunities for offenders to earn MGT (example: education, etc.).
  1. robsgirl says:

    does this mean inmates will be released soon? how long will it take for the inmates to get out that are past their out dates? i think this is good news, but i would like to understand it better. can anyone help with that?


    • freerichardwanke says:

      No this does not mean that inmates will be released soon. We are waiting on a committee report and recommendations to the Governor; waiting for November election to see if we still have same Governor (or Brady who does not favor Early Release for inmates), and then waiting for the Gov and IDOC to flesh out a whole program (including getting legislative changes made) before they go ahead and release anyone. Inmates past their expected out dates will just be held until they either serve their whole sentence or the program is announced. IDOC facility staff are past the point of expecting anything to change soon. They are now just trying to house as many inmates as possible and keep everything quiet.


  2. mama bear says:

    Wht happemn to da inmates tht were told tht they had a certain time or are passed there due dates can anyone help me out wth tht


  3. Sandra says:

    Thanks so much to the links to the notes. I just read the Apr 26 2010 minutes and I see that the Advisory Board is recommending that MGT be limited to non-violent inmates only. But this would require a change to the Illinois Statute governing early release, and they should not be allowed to apply the change retroactively. Instead of applying more restrictions, they should let the Wardens make the determination. Denying inmates MGT probably has ZERO correlation with recidivism.


  4. Today is November 4th 2010. I have been reading the early release list of inmates that have been released. Some of the offenders on the list have a much worse criminal history than that of my son. And some of them were taken into custody around the same time if not a few days before or after my son. Why isn’t my son’s name on the list. He (my son) only has 3 months to go before he can parole out. These other offenders had much more time to do and they still were released early. My son did go to school while incarcerated and he is in a level 7 low security prison. Actually he is in a work camp. Why is this. I thought that he might be one of the first to leave. He received good time back in October , and the rules stated that the inmates had to have received good time before Jan. 15, 2009. What is going on, should I write the parole board.


  5. Teresa says:

    The parole board isn’t involved yet. First call your son’s counselor at the prison, then you will probably need to call the Transfer Coordinator in Springfield IDOC. It’s good that he got the credit before it was stopped. Yes, you would think he would be out by now, but you do have to push them on it. Good luck!


  6. mr.russo says:

    any status on the mgt program as of 126\10 any information will be greatly appreciated


  7. In my thoughts goveror Quinn gave great hopes to inmates and their families to get this back. Although you are all making millions from free money by using tax payers you won’t release them early and I know why cause I have to work harder while you just run your mouths with arguements its not fair not right!!! I am going to my local library and stop this illegal use of law. Maybe I should start selling drugs so I can pay the top dog. Hell no I won’t pay you more money while I live in poverty. Let them go like they should be instead of holding them to make yourselves more money. If you believe in god hope he strikes you first!


  8. jason johnson says:

    is there any new news about the mgt?if so please let me know cause my wife is pregnant and in custody 4 a dui her out date is april26 the baby is due april 29 i think this is bullshit she is not a violent offender i think if ur not a violent offender or sex offender u should get the good time back i feel sorry 4 the inmates that r not violent and can’t get the good time if we all stick together and fight 4 the right thing our loved ones will b home soon my wife has 2 step sons and a husband that needs her home as soon as possible we love and miss her very much like i said she isn’t a hardcore or violent offender this is bs


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