ILprisontalk.com apparently halts legislative campaign

Posted: May 29, 2011 by parchangelo in IDOC, IL in Fiscal Ruins, Local Issues, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

The ILprisontalk.com  website was down all day and just recently came back up tonight. While it was down, the website administrators removed all mention of and posts of the campaign ILprisontalk.com waged since May 25, 2011, during which it urged it’s readers to contact legislators and urge them to pass the four pending bills dealing with correction issues which the legislature had not yet been able to pass this session. ILprisontalk removed 14 pages of postings and instead left this message in their place:

__________________________________________

IPT Members,

Since late 2009 and early 2010, we have been a constant state of confusion over the suspension and return of MGT. Rumors have plagued this site, resulting in dashed hopes and even heated arguments. No one who understands and values IPT wants that.

Nothing has changed with MGT. We still know nothing. Only Governor Quinn knows when or how it will return. And he isn’t giving out any information. The administrators and staff of IPT have nothing new to give as far as information, though, like many of you, we pray MGT is returned soon.

IPT cares deeply for the concerns of its members, but having an endless and stressful discussion does little good. Besides the petition, which you are encouraged to sign, and a great series of reports, this board is now closed. No posts will be allowed, except from the administrators of IPT. If you post a new topic, it will be removed.

When the administrators of IPT receive any concrete news concerning MGT, it will be posted for all members to see as promised.

_____________________________________________

This action can only be interpreted as the realization by ILprisontalk that, as we stated in our May 25, 2011, post questioning the wisdom of their campaign, that urging the passage of these specific correctional pending bills only works to harm the interests of IL inmates and does nothing to hasten the return or reinstatement the awarding of Meritorious Good Time Credits (MGT) by the IL Department of Corrections (IDOC).  Reader posts on ILprisontalk indicated that state legislators began responding that a separate effort is underway within IDOC to reinstate MGT; one that will just take more time, not more “get tough on crime” legislation.

IDOC and state of IL officials already said previously that work to devise a new program and revise internal department procedures within IDOC so as to permit the return of MGT as soon as possible, has been the top priority within IDOC for some time. It was outdated computer equipment and faulty procedures which were cited in the Erickson Report as the primary culprits for IDOC’s suspension of MGT in the first place. IDOC started updating it’s entire computer system with the new Microsoft 360 Offender software sometime ago and revising internal procedures. IDOC will continue with this work, and independent of whatever bills may or may not pass this legislative session, it is this updating process within IDOC which will determine when MGT is finally reinstated. Governor Quinn will not reinstate MGT until he feels confident that the agency will not repeat it’s internal errors and release any inmate earlier than required to do so if it finds that they may be a safety risk to the public.

July 1, 2011, has been tossed around in discussions as to a possible date by which changes within IDOC will be complete enough to permit Quinn to reinstate MGT. July 1, 2011, remains just a guess at this point, no better than any other, and we place no reliance upon it, because nothing official has issued from or within IDOC to show that it is the date that MGT will return. Something official would need to issue about now in order for IDOC to re-implement on July 1, 2011, something as big an action as the reinstatement of MGT. At least one legislative press release mentions MGT issues not being taken up by legislators until their return in November 2011.

ILprisontalk has been highly critical of individuals posting “rumors” on it’s website claiming that MGT will return at one point or the other. It has been quick to ban certain posters of that information from further posting on it’s website, including the one poster who tried to alert ILprisontalk that it’s campaign to urge readers to help pass anti-inmate legislative bills was misguided. We hope that ILprisontalk will now recognize that it also got caught up in the “rumor-mill” and be upfront with it’s readers and clarify the reason for dropping it’s recent campaign for urging passage of these bills. We hope it will not leave it’s readers wondering what is going on and what happened to these bills: SB 1341, SB 1560, SB 1561, SB 1562. Deadlines for actions on all four bills were extended to May 31, 2011, as a result of the IPT campaign, but fortunately, chances remain low that any of them will pass before this legislative session ends due to higher legislative priorities.

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