IDOC and Meritorious Good Time: No April 2011 Fool’s Joke

Posted: April 3, 2011 by tennesseetree in IDOC, IL in Fiscal Ruins, Terrible Wrongs - Other Cases, Uncategorized
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May 31, 2012, State Legislature passes new law paving way for Early Release programs! Read latest at


We are more than halfway through the 2011, Illinois legislative session, and literally, almost nothing has been accomplished in Springfield except posturing. The early session  momentum once present to make joint decisions on the IL budget crisis has been entirely dispelled. The Republicans, Democrats, Madigan, and Governor Quinn are all now in separate corners with no alliances between them. In other words, this is the same situation so far as in prior years. The parties, trying to resolve the budget crisis have been unable to agree on a solution. This has tied up or prevented progress or consideration of other issues, and in the end, once the wrangling has extended out past the end of the session to July or later, everyone just throws up their hands, votes for a sum and passes it all to Quinn to fund as he likes and somehow muddle through.

Madigan continues to claim that this year will be different and that the legislature will somehow come together to agree on a budget which will be significantly leaner than the one Quinn has proposed and that they will pass it shortly, perhaps this month. We are not holding our breath that this will happen. Quinn passed a tax increase, but he did not get a measure passed to somehow pay down the huge pile of State bills, and these bills are increasing. With the tax increase, there is the prospect of more money coming into the State, which so far, has only expanded the prospects of arguing about how to spend it. Budget spending caps were set, but at the rate the legislature is arguing, these may even be exceeded and cost the State the tax increase.

So, where does this leave the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC)? Well, IDOC is stuck firmly in the muddle. There has been NO, repeat NO, movement on the reinstatement of Meritorious Good Time (MGT). Right now, inmates can expect to serve their full sentence term, minus day-for-day, schooling and treatment credits. We were hoping to be able to report some potential action on MGT by now, but there is none. All the legislative attention is still on working out some sort of budget for year and resolving back bills. No one in the legislature is talking about any real IDOC issues which affect inmates. Inmates and their families continue to be hurt by the MGT suspension and hoping it will come back, but for now, we have to say that it looks now like there will be no action this Spring or this summer. Quinn cannot reinstate MGT without a legislative consensus. MGT will probably not even be discussed until IDOC’s computer conversion to Microsoft’s Offender 360 software is nearly complete. That upgrade will probably take the rest of this year.

That is not to say that there are not plenty of red herrings out there. Rumors are still rampant in IDOC and people are checking the legislative bills pending and trying to read all kinds of stuff into any IDOC related bill introduced into the legislature. Readers have to keep in mind that the push by certain conservative legislators during sessions for the past several years is to tighten the screws on legal penalties for “criminals” whenever possible. So this year, as in the past, these legislators have introduced a slew of “corrections” bills which are on paper, but which have to work themselves out of committee and be voted on by the legislative bodies as a whole before there is any possibility that they could become law. No one should be working themselves up over these bills as they stand right now. That is not to say that it is not a good idea to keep up on them; particularly if it is a bill which may affect you if ever approved. If that is the case, find out the legislator who originated the bill and co-signers and send them your thoughts on the bill. But, don’t get hyper just because the bill is there. Remember that many bills do not pass and that even when they do, they usually get reworked a lot before passing.

Other states are recognizing that the legislative push to criminalize everything is counter-productive to state budgets and that we taxpayers cannot afford this. The article below, from the Telegraph, illustrates how this understanding is spreading in this country:

State budget crises push sentencing reforms

So, there are some smart people out there who see that the US is maxed out on criminal penalties at a great social cost. And, there are also advocates for inmates and sentencing reform in Illinois who are organizing to make this clear to our own legislators:

Advocates Seek New Road For Criminal Justice Policy

This article from Progress Illinois shows that there are a number of Illinois organizations, individuals and advocacy groups who monitor corrections legislation and catch the drift of the consequences of lawmakers who run amok with “anti-crime” legislation. We suggest that readers support their efforts to publicize the negative impact of these bills by writing to legislators in opposition of them. We will run through the brunt of these bills in another post, but if you want to help, write your legislators, particularly the republicans.

  1. Kim Reed says:

    They have the adult work centers in Il. they should start there with the push-MGT and if they would work on releasing some of those inmates they would relieve some of the money woes of the state


    • Cor says:

      I totally agree.. start with the Lowest place and start pushing them out and so forth and so on! everyone should just move down a step! take a look at everyone at ATC and lets get moving here! Some people are serving time for a traffic ticket! Do they really NEED to be in Prison??


  2. Tara says:

    I think the good time should come back to the prisoners. They are so over populated and it would save the state money.


  3. Brittny Kellum says:

    Please bring back good time for inmates!


  4. meg says:

    It would be beneficial to bring back good time, one it would help the population problem and some of the people in prison are on minor defenses, and they really shouldn’t be in there anyway, and two it would help save money.


  5. Kim Reed says:

    They have so many inmates that are so close to their out dates working from the SIATC. They could even be considered for the electronic monitoring program


  6. dj says:

    I see only women have comented here on this topic. Its good to see you are all concerned with this issue, as my wife was while I was away. 61 days turned into six months for me. I was told I would have to serve only 61 days. I hate politicians, they are suppose to lead by example yet every one of them has done something questionable if not illegal. Let them all spend 6 months in the dilapidated il. State prison system.


    • Ariel Wolff says:

      +Just so you know they give lots of people only 61days because on the 61st day the State gets a check for you being in there. I’m sorry to hear that it turned in to six months.


  7. YOUR MAMA says:



  8. Ariel Wolff says:

    My husband is in for taking pain pills when he had an infected impacted wisdom tooth. He got two years!! His in Dixon CC it’s $25,263.00 a year there pre inmate. He has no violent crimes or anything crazy like that. I would love to know why we pay taxes for people who are not a “danger to society” to sit in prison when they should be at home with their family. I do not feel rapists or violent inmates should get good time ,but people who are in there for b/s deserve good time. Please give it to them!!!


  9. Kimm says:

    I think they should bring back good time for all prisoners period who behave while incarcerated and work towards a goal of change in their life. I’m sick of all the discrimination in our government. They take this inmates constitutional rights away from them as it is. We also need to look at how many mentally ill have been sent to prison do to budget cuts at state mental health agencies. The numbers keeps growing of people unable to stay on their medicines do to our economy. Somewhere we lost the meaning of We the people as it states… We, the People of the State of Illinois – grateful to
    Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty
    which He has permitted us to enjoy and seeking His blessing
    upon our endeavors – in order to provide for the health,
    safety and welfare of the people; maintain a represent
    and orderly government; eliminate poverty and inequality;
    assure legal, social and economic justice; provide
    opportunity for the fullest development of the individual;
    insure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense;
    and secure the blessings of freedom and liberty to ourselves
    and our posterity – do ordain and establish this Constitution
    for the State of Illinois.
    The key i see here is provide
    opportunity for the fullest development of the individual and as we know god already paid for our sins at the cross. If the government isn’t gonna do gods work then take his name out of it..Just my opinion


  10. criminal records…

    […]IDOC and Meritorious Good Time: No April 2011 Fool’s Joke « RichardWanke.Com[…]…


  11. Cor says:

    I dont understand, well i do understand, but really, some inmates are serving time for small things! and there 1st time offenders!.. Lets give them a break here! this is how “Our People in the Neighborhood” get their bad rap from! and we wanna teach our children the government is here for US!?? Let make things happen in this world so we ALL can get back up!


  12. My husband is in centralia illinois prison. He has been there almost going on 2 years. Now December 28;2010 I was in a terrible car accident and he couldnt get to me and I am not saying what he did was right. he did burglarize a place where hes from. It is funny though that child molesters can get out earlier and thats just wrong. Oh and as for me I am fine. I was the passenger in a vehicle that they had to cut me out of and I had a broken right arm that I have had to surgeries on and a left leg broke and had to have one surgery on it so far. Oh yes and I have metal in both my arm and leg now. I cant walk right and truthfully by the grace of god I am still here. So all I am asking is to give the good prisoners good time back. If they mess up then they need the maximum of whatever time they have left or someone needs to just make them do all their time over.


  13. ILove God says:

    My son have been incarrated for 21 years at the time of his sentence he was promised the 6 month good time which would have brought him home this December (What a wonderful Christmas gift).Now that the MGT is removed he’s out date is next year. While incarrared my son done everyhing possiable to earn this good times.
    A lot could happen to a family in six month, the loss of a parent or grandparent who is not getting any younger. You should not punish every detainee( I do not care for the word inmate) due to the errors of other detainees.

    Gov Quinn please reinstate the MGT for ours long time detainees who have earned this good time that was in placed at the time of their sentence.

    All let’s send a pray up to God Almight at 6:00p.m. on this Thrusday 03/08 that the MGT is reinstated soon!
    Rememrber prayer changes thing and the more praises go up with faith GOD will give us a blessing.



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