IDOC in February 2011

Posted: February 1, 2011 by mikethemouth in IDOC, IL in Fiscal Ruins, Uncategorized

February 2011 shows no change at the IL Department of Corrections (IDOC). Prisons in the state of IL remain completely saturated and overcrowded with inmates. Tempers are short, rehabilitative programs are being cut back and participation in even court mandated programs is no longer an option for many inmates because space is not available for them. Equipment breakdowns and supply shortages continue to occur at IDOC and the state agency continues to request emergency funds to deal with them because the money isn’t in it’s authorized budget. Despite widespread promises to inmates and institutional rumors that action would occur in January 2011 to remedy overcrowding by the reinstatement of Meritorious Good Time (MGT), nothing has happened.

As we advised before, this logjam is not going to break easily. Actions to reform IDOC policy has to be discussed and happen on the legislative and administrative levels before new MGT procedures are announced or implemented.  The only bill currently pending which affects MGT and was introduced by Rep Lou Lang, makes only technical changes to the wording of the legal statute as it has stood for most of last year. If this statute wording was adequate to remedy MGT problems then why hasn’t the program been reinstated by now? It would not have taken this long to update the procedures for it! Obviously then, the substantive changes required to satisfy legislators and Quinn that MGT will have adequate safeguards have not yet been made to the law. Until they are made, IDOC remains at a standstill.

The legislature isn’t even in session this first week of February 2011; it’s postponed to begin the second week of this month due to the snowstorm hitting the state. Regardless, the state budget and recent court overturn of the state construction budget will dominate the return of the session. No favorable news has come out of IDOC since November 2010. Governor Quinn may not even retain Gladyse Taylor, as Director of IDOC whenever he finally takes action to determine which appointees he will retain of those many he has hired in the past two years. So far, she has not done anything noteworthy for the agency. One of these days, Quinn will also stop procrastinating and decide whether or not to abolish the IL Death Penalty. It is apparent to most that the right decision for him to make, no matter what his personal perspectives are,  would be to abolish it given the systematic problems affecting it’s implementation.

When IDOC makes the news these days, it is only in a negative manner with the serious, potential abuse of state government funds involved in questionable Workman’s Compensation Awards to  the  guards and staff of the Menard’s Correctional Center during the past few years. A state investigation has begun of the claims and of the Workman’s Compensation Commission itself. This will be a large investigation with many ramifications.

Given the current lack of movement on IDOC issues, we continue to advise readers to not expect changes to happen until Spring and perhaps the end of this current legislative session in May.

  1. mike says:

    Thanks for the updates im waiting on the next one.


  2. deanna says:

    thank you for the update hope some changes are comming soon hoping they come up with something to give back good time.


  3. good time is a necessity really,how can this way work or how can we continue to send criminals to jail when no one is getting a chance at reform?


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