Solution to the problem?

Posted: February 26, 2012 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

Solution to the problem?

BY D.W. NORRIS

Nathan Moore is managing agent of Midwest Monitoring Systems, a company that specializes in technology services, such as ankle monitors, GPS tracking and alcohol detection, for the criminal justice system. (Paul Newton / The Southern)

Grim numbers for state prisons

Illinois had almost 49,000 inmates in state prisons in November 2010, 144 percent more than prison space was designed for, the Illinois Department of Corrections reported. However, IDOC officials are now saying the actual capacity of prisons is closer to 51,000.

Whatever the figure, the number of prisoners troubles some politicians and advocates because of safety and cost issues.

“That’s the things that I want to look into,” said state Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro. “First off, for the safety of our guards to reduce overcrowded situation.”

The John Howard Association of Illinois, a prison watchdog group, has spent years investigating the state’s prisons. In addition to sometimes horrific conditions for inmates, John Maki, the association’s coordinating director, also said he’s concerned about the safety of corrections officers.

“These policies that are overcrowding our prisons are putting the men and women who work there at risk,” Maki said.

CARBONDALE – The question of what to do about Illinois’ overcrowded prison system figures to be a topic of conversation in Springfield for the foreseeable future.

A company operating out of Carbondale believes it has the answer to the problem, and the services it offers are gaining support. Midwest Monitoring Systems provides radio and satellite monitoring systems for offenders coming out of prison, those sentenced to house arrest and those whose previous crimes, such as child sexual abuse, require constant surveillance. The company also has systems that can monitor for alcohol abuse every half hour.

“It’s a growing industry that will continue to grow,” said J. Nathan Moore, a managing agent for Midwest Monitoring. “We’ll grow with the need.”

The need may grow exponentially as early release or expanded electronic monitoring options are discussed by state legislators hoping to address a prison system welcoming in more non-violent offenders each year.

via Solution to the problem?.

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