IDOC Inmate Early Release & Agency Reform (Page Updated April 17, 2020)
5 inmates that tested positive for COVID-19 in the Illinois prison system have died   And more continue to die undisclosed by either IDOC or the State.

On April, 2, 2020, prisoner advocate groups sued IDOC & IL for failing to release IL prisoners timely. See details here: A hearing was held on 4/10/2020, but injunctive relief was denied at this time. Federal judge declines to step in and order state to release more inmates in the face of COVID-19 threat.  The opinion can be found here.  Money v. Pritzker The groups are considering further action to force IDOC to release IL prisoners more quickly considering the rapid increases of Covid-19 in IL prisons and jail. A similar lawsuit filed against the Cook County Jail resulted in the Cook County Jail being directed to separate jail inmates out better, Federal judge holds hearing on lawsuit filed over Cook County Jail coronavirus response.

Tom Dart has done about as much as is physically possible to do in any jail or prison to try to stop the Covid-19 contagion. Chicago’s biggest jail has released almost a fourth of its population over coronavirus fears Dart has certainly done a lot more at the Cook County Jail than IDOC has done in any prison and a lot more than any other IL County Jail has done. He has even single-celled most of the jail population which is what most people mistakenly believe is all it takes to keep jail or prison inmates safe.

Nonetheless, Dart hasn’t stopped the contagion inside County County jail, and exactly how long the jail can continue to comply with even the judge’s modest requests is questionable.  Cook County Sheriff Says Supply of Masks for Detainees, Staff Could Run Out in a Week

Meantime, Cook County Jail inmates are beginning to agitate from the inside. Inmates in several jail divisions have begun refusing their meal trays off-and-on and passing demands to the jail administration to forward to a local judge so that jail conditions improve. Their requests have helped them out in some respects.

Covid-19 started earlier in IDOC facilities than IDOC first reported. It’s also transformed Stateville CC into an epicenter of Covid-19 similar to the Cook County Jail. The number of infected and the advanced symptoms of their illness would not be this great and rising so quickly now otherwise. More than 400 inmates have contracted Covid-19 at Stateville Correctional over the past two months. Most were left to recover on their own without medical assistance. 8 inmates have died so far, and now word comes that some inmates are quarantined in a Stateville gymnasium which is in very poor condition with a leaky roof, and even built up mold present in classrooms above it.  The virus seems to have run its course through about half the inmate population before IDOC came public with the contagion inside. An unknown number are hospitalized, or in ICU and/or on ventilators in Joliet area and other hospitals. Those numbers come from anecdotal accounts from medical personnel & inmate reports. IDOC presently confirms 123 Stateville inmates and overall 133 staff members in IL prisons being positive, with 147 inmates state-wide overall. IDOC figure below now include numbers of recovered staff and inmates. Those numbers show that Covid-19 is still in the early stage of infecting IDOC prisons. What will the figures look like two months from now?  As it is they indicate that Covid-19 will linger longer in State prisons than in the rest of IL.

IDOC and the State however have stopped mentioning the number of inmate prison deaths. IDOC can now suppress whatever information it wants to suppress about who has died, who is positive and who has been tested in IDOC State prisons. Understand too just how IDOC is conducting its testing. IDOC is faithfully testing every staff member who shows symptoms, so its staff count is positives is fairly accurate.

However, IDOC has limited its testing of inmates to virtually only at Stateville where it knows inmates have the virus. IDOC is probably working its way through Stateville unit by unit, testing inmates as it goes and then using test results to place them according to whether they are ill or not. Downstate however, IDOC continues to ignore and postpone the testing of inmates at facilities until staff testing results indicate that the virus is probably starting to spread out in that facility.

In other words, IDOC is using its staff and prison inmates as the “canaries in the coal mine” to alert it of the progress of the virus through state prisons. The true number of IL inmates who are ill in Central and downstate prisons is unknown. One inmate in IDOC died on March 30, 2020, and a second inmate died April 5th 2020. Both were hospitalized before dying. Three others have since died at Stateville CC, with possibly two other deaths unconfirmed . State’s first COVID-19 prison death was double murderer serving life for attack on Buffalo Grove family. 2nd Stateville prison inmate dies of COVID-19, State prisons lack adequate space to properly quarantine individuals and are instead quarantining groups of affected inmates and staff both while they are in ICU and while they are ill but don’t need ICU in limited spaces.  IL Governor Pritzker, on March 30, publicly announced how Coronavirus in state prisons will be handled:

“…IDOC is at the smallest population since ’95 at 36,944 inmates,1069 fewer than on Fed 1st. On 03/14/20, visitation was stopped, and all facilities were put on quarantine, and hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies were distributed to everyone.160,000 N95 masks, 200,000 surgical masks and tens of thousands of gloves have been sent to IDOC.
DOC has been reviewing the case files of as many low-risk offenders as possible for early release; many female and low-level inmates at the end of their sentences, and not with histories of domestic violence, and all had homes to return to. Places to reside are one of our greatest challenges. Need to ensure each has a place to return now. Working hard to balance the need to free up as much space in our prisons as possible while making sure that we’re not releasing those who may pose a risk to their communities. Every step we take with respect to our prison population needs to solve an existing problem; not create a new one…”

He continued on,

“…My office is working with the Department of Corrections to review the histories of all of our inmates to prioritize the release of older and more vulnerable residents while ensuring the public’s safety. Tragically, we have lost one prisoner at Stateville Correctional, the max security prison that is closest to the Chicago area, with 32 total positive cases among those in-custody and more results pending. We have 18 staff members who have tested positive and who are employed at various Department of Corrections facilities. The DOC is working diligently to prevent further spread by requiring all staff on duty to wear PPE and by opening parts of the facility that were closed to allow for futher social distancing. We’re using every mechanism available to us to prevent and contain the viruses’ spread in our Department of Corrections facilities, including standing-up temporary facilities for an on-site medical mission with our National Guard. But I want to be clear. Despite these measures; and any, and everyone of our DOC residents who falls seriously ill with Covid-19 will receive available medical assistance to get thru it, including an ICU bed, and a ventilator, if necessary. An incarcerated person is a person, and my administration will not be in the business of claiming one life is worth more than another. I want to say to the local hospitals that are near the prison facilities. We will do all that we can to ensure that any patients receive the best care that we can provide and we will work with local Departments of Health to get you all the equipment and support that we can. But hospitals that refuse to take on residents of the Department of Corrections will be called out by name. And those that refuse to operate in accordance to their oath can and will be compelled to do so by law. We are asking everyone during this extraordinarily difficult time to do their part to keep residents; all residents of IL safe. We inherited a prison system that has suffered from overcrowding after decades of tough-on-crime policies focusing on punishment without attention to rehabilitation. Democrats and Republicans agree on this and have worked together over the last number of years to make real changes. And, while we have prioritized support services for the men and women in our care, we’re still operating in facilities that were not built to support these kinds of efforts. When we get through this immediate crisis we all need to have a real conversation about criminal justice reform and the status and conditions of our state prisons…”

The Governor’s comments set the bar high for how all IL inmates should be regarded and treated during this crisis, but that is not what is apparently happening inside IDOC prisons. Many of the actions announced at his daily briefings are made to sound as if they are already happening when this is not always the case and aren’t true even weeks after.

The Devil, of course, is in the details. Even with the best of intentions, the State and IDOC have never faced a situation of this magnitude and severity. Prison staff is not trained in the use of PPE and proper quarantine procedures and inmates are not trained in self-protection. Nor is there time to adequately train anyone. Inmates won’t receive any personal protection equipment: no masks, no gloves, and many at different facilities report that they still lack soap and cleaning supplies. Most say they aren’t allowed to keep any supplies ready at hand for constant use but can only wash their hands occasionally. A lot of showers are also being postponed, and staff is handing quarantines and movement restrictions differently from facility to facility. State prison staff has little experience fighting contagion, and even bringing in the National Guard at Stateville is of limited help. Regional hospitals around Stateville are stressed caring for Stateville inmates, and some inmates have already been distributed to other hospitals throughout the State. Only the immediate release of a large number of inmates can help lessen the work burden and human toll State prisons face.

Watch this important video below about the Coronavirus contagion raging at Stateville prison:

(Note: This page is an adjunct page of information on the IL prison system provided by volunteers of this blog, Richard Wanke is presently serving a life sentence at the Menard Correctional Center in Chester, IL for the death of Rockford, IL attorney Greg Clark in February 2008. Supporters know that Richard Wanke is innocent and hope to obtain his release. His Petition for Leave to Appeal was just denied by the IL Supreme Court and he seeks an attorney to file a post-conviction petition. Richard has a Facebook page under his name maintained on his behalf which also features a page (Talk: Suspect Convictions) with posts and news about the issue of wrongful convictions. We encourage readers to read this blog and FB and to visit Talk: Suspect Convictions and spread awareness of Richard Wanke’s plight.

The most serious problem facing our nation presently is Coronavirus. The USA leads the world in terms of the number of its citizens who are imprisoned. So the Coronavirus has the potential to kill many more US prisoners than the prisoners of other countries. Adequate medical treatment for IL prisoners has always been a problem, but now there is also the increased costs and added difficulties of housing aging inmates.

On March 25, 2020, IDOC began publicly releasing information on the number of inmates it has tested for Coronavirus, the number of test results pending, and the number of staff and inmates testing positive for Coronavirus per facility. On March 30, 2020, the State revealed that those numbers are nonsensically low compared to the true number of staff and inmates who are ill. It has also begun releasing a few inmates with more to be released although not that many at this point. (See below). In addition, on March 26, Governor Pritzker stopped allowing County Jail inmate transfers to IDOC. The order is logical and will put more pressure on County Jails to release inmates because they can’t now ship most of them off to IDOC. Coronavirus IL: Pritzker issues order halting admissions from county jails to Illinois prisons to slow spread of coronavirus

The truth is that NO ONE wants to have the responsibility to care for inmates during this time of crisis.  Authorities may claim otherwise, but they KNOW that Coronavirus will overwhelm any prison or jail system, particularly large systems where it will be more deadly because it will incubate there and spread it faster. That’s why Tom Dart at Cook County Jail is so illogically upset that he cannot now transfer many inmates to IDOC. It is a sign of his desperation that he’s been depending on ridding his facilities of inmates by transferring them to Stateville CC which is even more likely to endanger their health. Sheriff Tom Dart Attacks Gov. Pritzker For Refusing New Inmates In State Prisons

. ______________________________________________

Pressure is being exerted on the State to temporarily release non-violent offenders and those elderly and most at-risk for the virus. A lot of pressure and everyone needs to help this effort. We urge ALL persons with loved ones in IL State prisons to call Governor Pritzker’s office at: (217) 782 – 6830, (217) 782 – 6831, or 312-814-2121; to demand the immediate temporary release of your loved one. Or, Tweet him at Governor JB Pritzker@GovPritzker. He posts often enough. If your loved one is in a County Jail, then call your County Jail and court officials to demand the same. Every jail or prison which releases inmates puts pressure on others to do the same. See: Letter Generator to Local Officials for letters to send them. What’s new? Even the former Warden of the Cook County Jail and over  30 prosecutors from around the country are now calling for compassion inmate release! (See articles below ) ____________________________________________

Experts identify several options IDOC can take now to immediately release several categories of prison inmates. It can grant up to 180 days of good time off individual sentences for individuals due to be released shortly. It can release or put on home detention individuals with life sentences who have served large blocks of time without incident in IDOC and are not a safety risk, and it can grant temporary “medical furloughs” to those inmates aged 55 and older who are serving life sentences but are at-risk due to age and medical condition. IDOC is being urged to release individuals as quickly as it can. Not only adult inmates but also the almost 200 juveniles in the Dept of Juvenile Justice. And, of course, IDOC can take any other action which Governor Pritzker dictates.

Governor Pritzker holds a daily press conference that can be viewed here: Pritzker Daily Briefing, and which usually airs between  2:30 pm and 3 pm, to update the public about the status of coronavirus in IL and the State response.

State legislators and local community authorities have enriched their career reputations over the past decade by being tough on crime, prosecuting offenses to the max and putting more and more of the State population behind bars in the effort to gain local votes at elections. Now we will all pay the price. Voters and the public have been seduced into believing that crime is more and more rampant and that the only solution for out-of-control criminals is long prison sentences. Stuff prisons full of prisoners and throwing away the key has led now to endangering the lives of anyone in a US prison or jail during this Coronavirus emergency.

Donald Trump’s presidency has undone the national supportive measures and protections once in place to handle public epidemics. There is presently a shortage of Coronavirus testing of the general public much less our jails and prisons. But public clamor over the welfare of those who are in prison has started to effect some action:

 The present Coronavirus situation in Cook County Jail, which is now the Nation’s Top Hotspot:

Four IL jails have released some inmates in preparation for the onslaught of Coronavirus: Cook County Jail, the Macon County Jail, 17 inmates at Macon County Jail released, Scott County, Scott County Jail released 50 inmates in last 10 days as part of COVID-19 precautions, and the Lake County Jail, 40 nonviolent inmates released from Lake County jail to prevent COVID-19 outbreak.

The COVID-19 Struggle In Chicago’s Cook County Jail. Cook County Jail has 4,400 prisoners now versus over 36,000 in State prisons and is now the nation’s biggest Covid-19 epicenter. Cook County Jail has released over 1000 inmates, but more people are still coming into the jail than are leaving. The article at the top of this page is just one incident of violence at the jail. The Jail’s measured steps to release more are taking too long according to the court filing by the Cook County Public Defender, Amy Campanelli’s Office seeking to release inmates in “…several broad categories, including those with medical conditions, pregnant women, non-violent offenders and those who are eligible for probation…”(see statement >>). CCBF and Allies Join Public Defender’s Petition for Mass Release of People from Cook County Jail .  Sheriff Tom Dart has been known as a progressive, but he’s shown himself now to be increasingly entrenched. Cook county authorities and the jail are taking so long to release inmates that at least one outside organization is getting people out of jail by paying their bond. Nonprofit uses pooled funds to bail out dozens from Cook County Jail in the face of COVID-19 threat It is ridiculous that The Bail Project needs to pay bails in order to get people out of the Cook County Jail or that it’s actions may release more inmates faster than than Cook County or the jail combined!t

The first known individual to test positive for Coronavirus in IL’s incarceration system was a Cook County officer on March 22, 2020. Cook County Jail hasn’t updated its Covid-19 numbers for several days now. So, as of today it is only known that at least 314 inmates have tested positive there and 189 staff, with at least two dozen inmates hospitalized. 15 Additional Inmates at Cook County Jail Contract Coronavirus, Total Now at 304.  Even an additional 213 Chicago Sheriff Deputies now have Covid-19.  Chicago’s Jail Is Top U.S. Hot Spot as Virus Spreads Behind Bars . And, a third jail inmate has died, while the family of the first jail fatality is now suing Cook County for cruelty because the inmate was left handcuffed until the moment of his death. Coronavirus Chicago: 3rd Cook County Jail detainee dies after testing positive for COVID-19.  Sheriff Tom Dart ,acknowledges that his efforts to contain the virus in the jail have failed but still asks for some estimate of how much longer the virus will last as if the present jail rate of contagion is acceptable under any circumstances! Past articles pointed out shortages of PPE within the jail as recounted by staff and inmates because prison officials appear to be deliberately limiting some cleaning supplies out of fear that they will be used for violence. That only illustrates the problems inherent in keeping people in jail during this epidemic. It began 26 days ago when only 3 inmates were positive. Over 600 jail inmates have been tested, but that’s just a fraction of the over 4,400 jail inmates, and many tests are outstanding. The high rate of those positive is 47% higher than the infection rate in Chicago and basically 50%. 38 Cook County Jail Inmates Test Positive for Coronavirus. That’s no wonder considering there are more than 7982 cases in Cook County alone and over 11,409 in Chicago, which is also a virus epicenter. White House health experts concerned Cook County may be among next hotspots for COVID-19.

What do authorities really expect to happen inside the jail? The Cook County judicial system has been dragging its feet on releasing jail inmates, and now it may be too late to avoid following the path of the Riker’s Island outbreak. Riker’s Island infection rate is presently 7 times the infection rate for the rest of New York. It is so desperate that authorities are even considering the release of some violent offenders. Coronavirus Update: Rikers Island Rate Of Infection 7 Times Higher Than Citywide, Legal Aid Says, Coronavirus Cases Are Spreading Rapidly on Rikers Island.  The number of inmates and staff ill at Cook County Jail is almost as high now as at Rikers, despite the Cook County Jail having fewer inmates and being a newer facility. That shows the that the contagion in Cook County Jail is starting to exceed that of Rikers. Meanwhile, the rest of IL facilities, including IDOC have only begun to move on inmate releases.

Local jails releasing hundreds of prisoners amid coronavirus fears, up from dozens just weeks ago

What are smaller jails here in IL doing.? Virtually Nothing but sitting! Hospital space in central and southern IL has limited capacity. You would think that smaller county jails would be more aware of the danger and would be removing inmates now, since it is far easier for them to do so compared to either the Cook County Jail or IDOC. But, that’s not the case. Macon County, Lake, and Scott counties have been about the only responsible smaller jails to make smart moves so far.

The rest of smaller IL jails so far are taking the position that McLean County is taking: Central Illinois Jails Plan For Coronavirus Spread Among Inmates, Staff   But, in smaller IL counties even local law enforcement have quietly stopped arresting everyone, and only jail violent offenders are being sent to jail. Local authorities are relying upon the hope that this, in itself, will reduce their jail populations to such a level that they can withstand an onslaught of the virus at their facility with very limited or no loss of life. This basically amounts to them playing a game of Chicken with the virus which is an unknown. The cost of that game could be the lives of both staff and inmates. Smaller jails aren’t even testing or else just barely testing inmates. The biggest player in that game of Chicken is the Winnebago County Jail in Rockford, as it is the largest of the smaller prisons. So far it has reduced its population down from 850 to around 550, but at some point even limiting arrests won’t be able to reduce any jail population further. Today it announced that one correctional officer has tested positive although he was removed from work on March 5 so he probably has not infected anyone else at the jail. Winnebago County corrections officer tests positive for COVID-19 Help sign a petition to release inmates from Winnebago County IL here: Open letter to Winnebago County Jail.

Take a look at what is beginning to unfold at Riker’s in NY‘It’s like a slave ship’: Rikers Island is reportedly facing coronavirus ‘mass death’ event

What is happening in the IL Department of Corrections with its 40,000 inmates?

Effective March 14, 2020, the Illinois Department of Corrections suspended visitation (except attorney visitation) at all IDOC prisons. The message is posted on the IDOC webpage.

IDOC updated its website with a Coronavirus contact phone number and information that people can call for specific facility and inmate information, although it is only providing general detail about what is happening in IDOC overall: “The Department has established a support line for questions regarding COVID-19. The call center can be reached Monday through Friday at 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM at 217-558-2200 ext. 7700. Questions can also be emailed to For any medical-related questions, please contact the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-889-3931 or…”

The information below is virtually meaningless now as the Chicago ABC Channel 7 video above shows that the medical situation at Stateville prison is already much, much worse than these numbers reported by IDOC below at any one time. Per the video over 100 inmates remaining at Stateville alone have Coronavirus and that number continues to rise.

IDOC has a listing on it’s “Covid-19 Response” page of its website, and has now updated it’s information to show the recovery rates for both staff and inmates as well as the infected rates for each. The recovery information does give the reader a better sense of the progress of the virus through each facility: 


Confirmed Cases

​Locations ​Staff




Incarcerated Individuals Confirmed Incarcerated Individuals Recovered
​Crossroads ATC ​1 ​1 ​2 ​0
​Danville ​1 ​0 ​0 ​0
​Fox Valley ATC ​7 ​1 ​4 ​0
​General Office ​1 ​0 ​0 ​0
​Graham ​1 ​1 ​0 ​0
​Hill ​0 ​0 ​3 ​0
​Joliet Treatment Center ​3 ​1 ​0 ​0
​Kewanee LSRC ​3 ​1 ​0 ​0
​Logan ​4 ​0 ​0 ​0
​Menard ​2 ​1 ​0 ​0
​North Lawndale ATC ​2 ​0 ​5 ​0
​Parole ​1 ​0 ​0 ​0
​Pontiac ​3 ​0 ​1 ​0
​Sheridan ​5 ​0 ​10 ​7
​Stateville ​70 ​13 ​122 ​55
​Stateville NRC ​29 ​4 ​1 ​0
Total ​133 23 ​148 62

The IDOC numbers of those ill listed on its webpage (148 inmates) are still unreliable. They are undoubtedly inaccurate except for the number listed of infected staff, which is presently at 133 statewide with the majority at Stateville (99).  Given the rise in numbers at Stateville, it remains illogical that IDOC is right when it claims that more inmates are not also ill at the other facilities where staff have been identified as having had Covid-19 for weeks now such as Joliet Menard, Pontiac, Fox, Kewanee, Graham, and Danville. There HAVE to be more cases at those facilities also than IDOC reports. There are 123 infected inmates at Stateville, and five inmates have died so far with three more deaths unconfirmed. The IDPH Director has publicly forewarned that persons in congregate care facilities (prisons) will fare poorly due to their many underlying issues and the high proportion in IL prisons of elderly inmates.

IDOC initially tried to post some information on how many it tested but gave up doing so on April 13. The static nature of the number of pending tests it posted only showed that IDOC’s testing is cyclical, not constant and doesn’t reflect favorably on IDOC. Going forward, we just never will know how many persons IDOC has actually tested other than the info the State is willing to release at it’s daily briefings.

How reliable are IL IDOC numbers and information about the number of inmates positive in IL prisons and how well IDOC is handling the situation? Not very, and for several reasons. The stories emerging from prisoners at Stateville Correctional above and below show this: (watch this video >>>) Both Cook County Jail, and IDOC claim that PPE is available to all staff and being used and that all inmates either have or can access adequate amounts of cleaning supplies, soap, and bleach. Both agencies claim that their facility responses are coordinated and systematic when it comes to the health of staff and inmates, and that they are doing as best as they can. Yet, daily reports such as the article post and article below come out from staff as well as inmates stating that what both agencies say is not the same as what is inside or happening inside:

Cook County Sheriff Dart blasts letter alleging he failed to provide jail staff protective equipment

and read this FaceBook post about the inadequacy of medical preparations prior to now. IDOC’s actions to date still haven’t corrected these medical insufficiencies:

With over 9500 positives combined in the adjacent DuPage and Cook counties to the north of it and over 1566 cases in Will county itself, Stateville CC is the state prison hotspot of IDOC facilities and is in full contagion status, just as Cook County Jail is. However, Menard Correctional also has at least two cases reported to-date among staff. Because Menard is located at the junction of Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and has proximity to St. Louis and Indiana, Menard is subject to being hit from all directions. There are also far fewer hospitals and medical beds in Southern IL compared to Northern IL. There are only two beds in Chester, IL where Menard CC holds over 1500 inmates, and there are over 254 positive cases in St. Clair County to its immediate North. Today’s map of COVID-19 cases in each of the counties in IL shows that a massive push of cases from Chicagoland outward and west now extends all the way across the State to Rock Island and reaches down southward to central and now southern IL. Covid-19 Illinois Positive Cases

Preventative measures IDOC is taking include:

  • The Department modified it’s Pandemic Influenza and Continuity of Operations plans.
  • Hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, and cleaning supplies are being made available to all staff and incarcerated individuals.
  • Staff who are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 are being screened by medical personnel.
  • During the intake process, all individuals, including parole violators, are being screened by medical personnel.
  • All correctional facilities and transport vehicles are being routinely cleaned and disinfected.
  • Staff and incarcerated individuals are being encouraged to practice good health habits, including hand-washing.
  • We are communicating regularly with staff and people in custody to ensure they feel safe during this developing situation.

IDOC says it will adjust procedures as necessary and should add to the above list that it is now stocking black plastic bags at prisons to use as body bags.

All visitors, including children under 18 years of age, must be on the offender’s approved visiting list in order to visit. Government officials and legal visitors are excluded and need not be listed on the visiting list to be afforded a visit. Prospective visitors should contact the offender to have them placed on the visiting list.

IDOC was providing inmates with 2 free 20-minute phone calls and 4 free 15-minute video calls. Video call provider GTL has extended the number of free video calls to one per inmate per week for up to 12 weeks but has reduced their length to 15 minutes apiece. However, since lockdown conditions are fluid and prison staffing is limited, some scheduled video calls are being canceled at the last minute or are now unavailable altogether.

All IDOC facilities are listed as being down on lockdown due to quarantines since March 10, 2020. While a number of facilities are on medical quarantine due to inmate illness, illness in IDOC has fluctuated since February. Not all facilities listed as being under quarantine were completely restricted, but all facilities are now. That means meals in cells, no commissary, limited calls at facilities without widespread tablet usage, no yard or gym activities, and limited showering.

The John Howard Association is one of the primary IL organizations which advocates on behalf of IL inmate health and welfare. There are many others and we ask the public and the families of Illinois inmates to act now to demand the safe release of their loved ones.

Chicago’s biggest jail has released almost a fourth of its population over coronavirus fears

Chicago’s Jail Is Top U.S. Hot Spot as Virus Spreads Behind Bars

Cook County Jail Now Reports 234 Inmates Have Tested Positive for Coronavirus

Elderly Inmates in Illinois at High Risk for Coronavirus

“We’re at war with no weapons”: Coronavirus cases surge inside Chicago’s Cook County Jail

167 Cook County Jail Detainees Have Tested Positive for COVID-19, Officials Say

One of the largest single-site jails in the US grapples with 134 coronavirus cases

101 inmates at Cook County Jail confirmed positive for COVID-19.

51 More Cook County Jail Inmates Test Positive for Coronavirus, Total at 89.

America’s largest single site jail is home to a new coronavirus cluster

24 detainees, 9 employees of Cook County Jail have contracted COVID-19: sheriff’s office

Coronavirus Outbreak Grows At Cook County Jail

6 detainees at Cook County Jail contract COVID-19, doubling count from previous day.

Two Cook County Jail detainees test positive for coronavirus.

Officer at Cook County Jail tests positive for coronavirus

Public Defender: Release Cook County Jail inmates who aren’t a threat

Commentary: Jail detainees need more consideration during coronavirus crisis

Are Illinois prisons equipped to handle the COVID-19 pandemic?

Cook County Sheriff: Cutting Jail Population a ‘High-Priority’ Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Open Letter to Cook County Jail

Cook County officials ponder inmate release to ease coronavirus concerns at jail; advocates demand state consider taking action

Prison watchdog urges Illinois Department of Corrections to make COVID-19 plans public

Coroanvirus in Illinois: “Prisoners are People, Too”

Cook County Jail Prepared For Coronavirus, Sheriff Says

Amid Flu Outbreak In Illinois Prison, Inmates Not Being Tested For COVID-19

IDOC facilities on lockdown amid outbreak of illness with ‘flu-like symptoms’ (note mention of Menard CC in 2nd to the last paragraph of the long article)

Stateville prison, Will County jail taking preventive measures in response to coronavirus

Articles below show dimensions of the problem and that Illinois jails and prisons are behind the learning curve.


Fayette County jail releases 48 nonviolent inmates to avoid spread of coronavirus

Freed Rikers inmates getting coronavirus bonus: Manhattan hotel stays

‘It’s like a slave ship’: Rikers Island is reportedly facing coronavirus ‘mass death’ event

‘Trapped on Rikers’: Jails and prisons face coronavirus catastrophe as officials slowly authorize releases


Wisconsin prison doctor tests positive for coronavirus, 18 inmates quarantined: report

District Attorneys call for inmate release amid coronavirus pandemic

Virginia Beach sheriff releasing nonviolent inmates from city jail amid coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus: San Francisco, Contra Costa prosecutors join national call for jail releases

Coronavirus Update: Long Island inmate put in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19

Michael Cohen asks to finish prison sentence at home amid coronavirus outbreak

Will Rikers Island Free Inmates Because of the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus has authorities putting more police on streets, releasing inmates from jails

Some Texas Officials Want to Divert People from Jail Amid Coronavirus Scare

We Are Not a Hospital: Inside a Prison Bracing for the Coronavirus

An Epicenter of the Pandemic Will Be Jails and Prisons, if Inaction Continues

Soap and sanitizer can keep coronavirus at bay, but many prisoners can’t get them

To contain coronavirus, release people in prison Do not let Covid-19 become Katrina in Connecticut.

As Coronavirus Spreads, Mass. Jails Move to Protect Inmates

Coronavirus in Texas: Prison population at risk of outbreak

Cuyahoga County Jail inmates released as coronavirus spreads

Staffer at Monroe state prison tests positive for coronavirus, DOC says

Parts of San Quentin prison under quarantine as a precaution

Prisons And Jails Worry About Becoming Coronavirus ‘Incubators’

Public defenders request the release of all non-violent offenders in jail due to coronavirus

Calls mount to free low-risk US inmates to curb coronavirus impact on prisons

US prisons are woefully unequipped to deal with coronavirus

Bureau Of Prisons Announces Guidance On Coronavirus

Prisons’ Coronavirus Risk Puts Justice Department Under Pressure

How Prisons and Jails Can Respond to the Coronavirus

Coronavirus Sparked Prison Riots in Italy. Will It Happen Here?


Crowded conditions, close contact behind bars complicate public health challenge

The Coronavirus Could Spark a Humanitarian Disaster in Jails and Prisons

‘Nightmare Waiting to Happen’: Advocates Warn US Prison Conditions Risks Intense Coronavirus Outbreak

A prison pandemic? Steps to avoid the worstHere’s what Colorado’s jails and prisons are doing to prevent coronavirus among the 32,000 people who live inside

U.S. Prisons Risk ‘Nightmare’ Coronavirus Outbreak, Advocates Warn

Coronavirus: Inmates quarantined at Santa Clara County jail after defense attorney tests positive

Federal Prison Employees and Others Question BOP’s Readiness for Coronavirus

When Purell is Contraband, How Do You Contain Coronavirus?

Coronavirus: Iran temporarily frees 54,000 prisoners to combat spread

Bahrain pardons hundreds of prisoners as coronavirus fears spread

2 inmates at a UK jail were tested for the Wuhan coronavirus after a prisoner collapsed in his cell. Here’s why prisons are among the worst places to handle outbreaks.

China says more than 500 cases of the new coronavirus stemmed from prisons


 Coming in, Rauner knows he has to tackle prison overcrowding, understaffing, prison conditions and inmate treatment

Rauner focuses on Prison Costs

Rauner promoted in his State of the Union speech what he calls a “Turnaround Agenda”: a prison reform plan aimed at reducing the State prison population by 25 percent over the next 10 years while hiring up to 473 more prison guards. Rauner had no choice but to address the issue. He inherits a State fiscal crisis that is out-of-control, where prison costs are one of the top yearly budget expenses for the State and at a time when the State may even run out of money to meet state prison payrolls come April 2015. The question experts and the public has to ask is really: “Is Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda and it’s timetable really aggressive enough to reduce the prison population and address the myriad of prison problems sufficiently in time to avoid bankrupting the State? This article contains some details, but unless Rauner selects the right person for IDOC Director who will aggressively use existing tools and policy within IDOC now to clear lots of lower-level, non-violent offenders from state prisons so only more violent inmates who need incarceration remain, Rauner’s agenda will be ineffective right now when it is most needed.

Prison Experts Already Say Rauner’s Agenda is not enough

Prison experts say that spending more money on IDOC will not solve the problem because Rauner will only be addressing the top of the iceberg by using the money to cover increased overtime costs for prison staff. They say Rauner’s plan is only a short-term solution at best that has to be followed up with changing the laws and sentencing options so that far fewer people are actually sent to prison.  Experts such as the IL Policy Institute say we need to immediately improve opportunities to rehabilitate people and help them stay out of prison instead of the approximate fifty percent who return there presently.

Looking ahead for IL Prisons

Rauner creates State Prison Commission to reform IDOC

Commission to address prison overcrowding and rehabilitation

“At Stateville they’re using a gym to house one-hundred young men who are awaiting to be assigned to a boot camp facility. And in that gym you have a hundred guys and one toilet.”

Rauner has set up and staffed a commission to recommend criminal justice and sentencing reforms. The goal is an initial report from the Commission by July and a final report by the end of the year.

From Rauner’s perspective: “Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has a chance to reform themselves to realize the error of their ways and to try to live a better life and to try to give back and be a positive member of our community. I believe that very much personally and philosophically and I hope our system comes to reflect that approach as well.”

No prisoners released early 6 months after law signed
December 28, 2012 4:56 pm  •  By Kurt Erickson |

SPRINGFIELD — More than six months have passed since Gov. Pat Quinn approved legislation designed to ease overcrowding within the state’s bursting-at-the-seams prison system.

But, the new law, approved by lawmakers last spring and signed by Quinn last summer, has not yet resulted in a single inmate being sent home early.

Rather, bureaucrats at the Illinois Department of Corrections and an obscure panel of lawmakers are still working out the rules that could someday put the release of prisoners in motion.

And, although Quinn is in the process of squeezing more prisoners into less space by closing prisons in Tamms and Dwight, officials say they don’t know when the program might begin.

“There is no firm timetable set for the implementation at this time,” said Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano.

On June 22, Quinn approved the legislation that would reinstate a prisoner sentence credit program he cancelled during his bid for governor three years ago.

Under past practice, inmates could receive credits toward an early release based on things like good behavior, their record of not committing violence and any classes they took behind bars.

But, in 2009, an Associated Press report revealed that some inmates were being released just weeks or even days after their arrival. Quinn canceled the program.

Since then, the number of inmates residing within the state’s sprawling prison system has mushroomed, with about 49,000 prisoners packed into space built to house about 32,000.

Alan Mills, a Chicago attorney who represents three inmates who have served time at the Vienna Correctional Center and are suing the state because of its overcrowded conditions, said the state will see immediate benefits once the program is running.

In the lawsuit, the inmates say their bunkhouse has been infested by vermin and mold. Broken windows were covered with plywood. Some of the problems have since been fixed.

“If the department would begin implementing the law passed by the legislature … then it could close down Building 19 at Vienna, where prisoners are housed in an old warehouse, stop housing people in basements flooded with sewage at Vandalia, and begin offering programming like basic education, drug treatment, and medical and mental health treatment, that would reduce the current 50 percent recidivism rate,” Mills said in an email.

The delays associated with getting the program up and running are not uncommon in state government.

Once signed into law, the measure went to officials within Corrections to be drafted into a set of workable rules. In October, the proposed rules were submitted to the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on

Early Release, Good Time, SB 2621, Otherwise known as
new Sentence Credits was Signed by Governor Pat Quinn into
law on June 22, 2012, and, when implemented
allows for Early Release of Illinois IDOC inmates

No prisoners released early 6 months after law signed

Copy of article (here)
December 28, 2012 4:56 pm • By Kurt Erickson |
SPRINGFIELD — More than six months have passed since Gov. Pat Quinn approved legislation designed to ease overcrowding within the state’s bursting-at-the-seams prison system.

But, the new law, approved by lawmakers last spring and signed by Quinn last summer, has not yet resulted in a single inmate being sent home early.

Rather, bureaucrats at the Illinois Department of Corrections and an obscure panel of lawmakers are still working out the rules that could someday put the release of prisoners in motion.

And, although Quinn is in the process of squeezing more prisoners into less space by closing prisons in Tamms and Dwight, officials say they don’t know when the program might begin.

“There is no firm timetable set for the implementation at this time,” said Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano.

On June 22, Quinn approved the legislation that would reinstate a prisoner sentence credit program he cancelled during his bid for governor three years ago.

Under past practice, inmates could receive credits toward an early release based on things like good behavior, their record of not committing violence and any classes they took behind bars.

But, in 2009, an Associated Press report revealed that some inmates were being released just weeks or even days after their arrival. Quinn canceled the program.

Since then, the number of inmates residing within the state’s sprawling prison system has mushroomed, with about 49,000 prisoners packed into space built to house about 32,000.

Alan Mills, a Chicago attorney who represents three inmates who have served time at the Vienna Correctional Center and are suing the state because of its overcrowded conditions, said the state will see immediate benefits once the program is running.

In the lawsuit, the inmates say their bunkhouse has been infested by vermin and mold. Broken windows were covered with plywood. Some of the problems have since been fixed.

“If the department would begin implementing the law passed by the legislature … then it could close down Building 19 at Vienna, where prisoners are housed in an old warehouse, stop housing people in basements flooded with sewage at Vandalia, and begin offering programming like basic education, drug treatment, and medical and mental health treatment, that would reduce the current 50 percent recidivism rate,” Mills said in an email.

The delays associated with getting the program up and running are not uncommon in state government.

Once signed into law, the measure went to officials within Corrections to be drafted into a set of workable rules. In October, the proposed rules were submitted to the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which includes members of the House and Senate.

The panel could vote to approve the rules as early as Jan. 8. But, even if they get a green light at that time, Corrections officials still would have until October 2013 to implement the guidelines.

In the meantime, Quinn is moving forward with the controversial closure of prisons. The “supermax” facility in Tamms is nearly empty of inmates and will close on Jan. 4.

The all-female Dwight Correctional Center also is set to close, but a firm date has not been released.

Together, the two facilities comprise the loss of nearly 1,400 beds in the crowded system.

Despite the slow pace, Solano said agency officials support the new early release program and are hopeful it will serve as an incentive for inmates to be on their best behavior while serving their time.

“This sentence credit law increases accountability in the state’s prison system by setting new guidelines in place that further strengthen the Department’s ability to promote positive offender behavior through the award of sentence credit and allows the Department to revoke credit if the offender is not compliant with rules,” Solano said in an email.

In addition to behavior, Corrections officials will consider and evaluate an inmate’s prior offenses as well as the offender’s potential for rehabilitation.

The new law also expands the number of programs an inmate can participate in and receive sentence credit and grants inmates credit for programs they might have taken while awaiting trial at a county lockup.

Senate Bill 2621 passed the IL legislature, and is before Governor Pat Quinn for his signature!

It’s official! As anticipated, the IL House  passed Senate Bill 2621, by a vote of 68 -50, authorizing the Department of Corrections to issue sentence credits which can lead to the early release for inmates eligible under the terms of the bill. The bill is now before Governor Pat Quinn for possible signature. Quinn has 60 days to either sign it or indicate his opposition to it; or he can automatically allow it to become law. While this is great news for all incarcerated in the overcrowded IL state prisons, the bill still needs Quinn’s approval and then to be implememented. It is unknown right now if Quinn will sign the bill into law; he has not indicated past support for the bill or any inclination that he will work to implement any form of early release. If signed the law will head to Rules and Regulations for work before IDOC changes are begun. As we have said before, even in the most optimistic scenario, readers should not look for any sentence shortening to begin till after the November 2012 elections and possibly even some time in 2013. Still, this is wonderful and long anticipated news! Congradulations to everyone who has worked so hard for so long to try to reinstate some form or early release for IL inmates!

Here is the link to the whole piece of SB 2621`legislation. Readers will have to scrutinize it carefully to determine just who is eligible for what:

Click here for SB 2621 info

Bill Synopis:

Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Unified Code of Corrections. Changes the references to "good conduct credit" and "early release" on felony sentences to "sentence credit", and the references to "good conduct for meritorious service" to "sentence credit for good conduct". Provides that the Department of Corrections shall provide annual reports to the Governor and General Assembly on award, amount, holding offenses, and revocation of sentence credit for good conduct. Provides that the rules and regulations for sentence credit shall provide that the sentence credit accumulated and retained by an inmate during specific periods of time in which the inmate is engaged full-time in behavior modification programs or life skills courses and satisfactorily completes the assigned program as determined by the standards of the Department of Corrections shall be multiplied by a factor of 1.50 for program participation. Provides that the rules and regulations shall also provide that sentence credit, subject to the same offense limits and multiplier, may be provided to an inmate who was held in pre-trial detention prior to his or her current commitment to the Department of Corrections and successfully completed a full-time 60 day or longer substance abuse program, educational program, behavior modification program, or life skills course provided by a county department of corrections or county jail. Requires the county program credit to be calculated at sentencing and included in the sentencing order. Deletes prohibition on an inmate receiving additional sentence credit for time spent in an educational or training program if the inmate previously served more than one prior sentence for a felony in an adult correctional facility. Provides that the Department may also award 60 days of sentence credit to any committed person who passed the high school level Test of General Educational Development (GED) while he or she was held in pre-trial detention prior to the current commitment to the Department of Corrections. Provides that the Department’s rules and regulations for revoking sentence credit, includes revocation of sentence credit for good conduct. Effective upon becoming law.

Senate Floor Amendment No. 4
Provides that eligible inmates for an award of sentence credit for specific instances of good conduct may be selected to receive the credit at the Director’s or his or her designee’s sole discretion. Provides that consideration may be based on, but not limited to, any available risk-assessment analysis on the inmate, any history of conviction for violent crimes as defined by the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act, facts and circumstances of the inmate’s holding offense or offenses, and the potential for rehabilitation. Restores language that no inmate shall be eligible for the additional good conduct credit in which the inmate is engaged full-time in substance abuse programs, correctional industry assignments, educational programs, behavior modification programs, life skills courses, or re-entry planning who (i) has previously received increased good conduct credit for that participation and has subsequently been convicted of a felony, or (ii) has previously served more than one prior sentence of imprisonment for a felony in an adult correctional facility.</a>

Quinn to Close Tamms, Dwight, Southern IL and Westside ATC’s

by August 31, 2012!

Quinn announced on June 19, 2012, that he intends to go ahead and close  most of the corrections facilities that he has threatened with closure. Read our current article regarding the closures here.

One mention in the articles listed above is that Quinn may need to go ahead and sign SB 2621 in order to be able to implement these facility closures by August 31, 2012. This would be nice, but Quinn has given no indication that he is in any hurry to sign SB 2621, and, even if he signs it quickly, it is doubtful that it could be implemented in time to have any effectiveness to facilitate the closures.

Yes, Early Release is possible, but will it happen?

After many false hopes and promises, for the first time since December 2009, it looks like the legal mechanism or fix required to allow the IL Department of Corrections (IDOC) to reinstate some form of early release for certain, well-behaved, non-violent prisoners will happen shortly. In the next few days, through a ground-swell of bipartisan effort, the Illinois legislature will likely show it’s compassion for the thousands of Illinois inmates and their families who have suffered prison overcrowding and worsening prison conditions simply because they have been stuck in IDOC at the wrong time, after Governor Pat Quinn’s suspension of all IDOC awarding of Meritorious Good Time credits (MGT)(which previously allowed prisoner sentences to be shortened).

The state legislature’s action is a tribute to the many individuals and organizations which have worked so hard to educate our legislative members regarding the punitive nature and counter-productive effects of Quinn’s actions in eliminating MGT. Just about everybody dealing with some aspect of the state criminal justice system devoted their time and energies to contacting legislators and encouraging them to piece together the individual aspects of Senate Bill 2621. The bill is likely to squeak by and pass both houses before the May 31st end of the legislative session. (Read article below)

Revamped Illinois prison release plan moves to House

The real question is: Will Senate Bill 2621 be signed and implemented by Governor Pat Quinn?

Senate Bill 2621 has a lot of fanfare going for it, but it will not be the panacea for anyone serving less than a year in IDOC now. Readers with a short sentence cannot depend on the Governor either signing the bill or implementing it. Quinn will have up to six months to decide if he wants to sign the bill into law in the first place. While he is likely to face public pressure to sign the bill, Quinn has been known to procrastinate to the max when he really does not want to do something, and it has become apparent to many observers that Governor Quinn does not like the idea of any early release program going into effect under his stewardship.

All along, Governor Quinn has really been arguably two-faced about the reinstatement of MGT or any sort of early release program. As the January 2012, Illinois Issues article below points out, whenever prodded, Quinn has paid lip-service to the urgency of IDOC resolving the issue of the MGT suspension. Yet, time after time, IDOC under Quinn failed to develop any program or take any of the steps needed to reinstate early release. When finally cornered, the Quinn administration countered with the assertion that he could not authorize any early release program permitting eligibility to any violent offender.

Well, Senate Bill 2621 and state legislators, naively or otherwise, are calling Quinn’s bluff, by giving him law to enforce which will meet the provisions which Quinn set forth for early release. It remains to be seen how Quinn will respond. Our bet is that Quinn will delay signage of the bill at least for several months and then implement it slowly, if at all. Our guesstimation is that readers should not look for an implementation of early release before this November and more probably not until sometime in 2013. Our impression is that Quinn believes that he fulfilled his obligation to state prisoners when he abolished the Death Penalty in IL, and that he feels that the rest of state prisoners are responsible for where they happen to be. We are certain that Quinn will continue to come up with plenty of sleight-of-hand excuses to distract us from his deliberate inaction regarding early release and worsening prison conditions.

In the meantime, hard-won legislative victories such as Senate Bill 2621 are really few and far between, so give yourselves a big round of applause!


Gov. Quinn takes a pass on early prison release plan
by Jamey Dunn

Instead of using what arguably was the biggest scandal during his time in office as a chance to reform a broken system, Gov. Pat Quinn stuck his head in the sand as Illinois’ prison population reached an all-time high.

An escalated version of the Meritorious Good Time early prisoner release program, dubbed MGT “Push,” became the subject of controversy in 2009 and a talking point for Republicans during the 2010 general election. The Associated Press uncovered an administrative tweak to the program that allowed prisoners to apply credit for good behavior to their sentences almost immediately. Previously, the Illinois Department of Corrections had required prisoners to wait 61 days before using any such credits. Under MGT Push, the waiting period was changed to 11 days. So, many of those sentenced to short terms were released before they moved on to the corrections system.
The state released 1,745 prisoners under MGT Push. On average, they served 36 fewer days than their sentences. The AP found that some inmates released under the plan had violent records. The DOC also failed to properly notify local law enforcement officials when prisoners were being released. In some cases, notification was not given at all. According to a report from Quinn’s office: “MGT Push resulted in the earlier release of hundreds of inmates, including more than 100 serving sentences for violent offenses, after as few as 11 days in DOC custody.” The revelation resulted in negative press for Quinn heading into his first bid to be elected governor.

So he did what any politician — and reasonable executive — would do in the same situation. He halted all early release programs and ordered a top to bottom review. Quinn brought in Judge David Erickson to work on a panel that took a look at the Meritorious Good Time program. Erickson concluded that the Quinn administration had taken a flawed program and made it worse. The report said that the focus of the program should be a rewards system meant to encourage good behavior and a desire for

rehabilitation, not just a way to cut down on numbers. “The department must fundamentally change its attitude and approach toward MGT credit awards. Despite Illinois’ dire economic state and the very real need to maximize control of facilities, these programs should not simply be population pressure release valves; they must be, first and foremost, a means to incent and reward good conduct that shows a genuine rehabilitative intent. This will not only benefit the individual inmate but also the community he or she will reenter.”

At the time of the report, Quinn vowed to fix the program. “These problems at the Department of Corrections are systemic, they’re longstanding, there’s lots of flaws, they need to be corrected. And I’m going to do that,” Quinn said. But two years later, the DOC has no plans to start a new-and-improved Meritorious Good Time program in the foreseeable future. As a result, advocates say that overcrowding, especially at lower security prisons, is getting worse. According to a spokesperson for the DOC, the prison population has not substantially changed since it reached its peak of 48,743 in May 2011. An October quarterly report from the department projects that the population will reach 49,615 by September 2012.

Malcolm Young, who serves on an advisory board for DOC, says that after the MGT Push scandal, word from the Quinn administration was that there were plans to reform and relaunch the Meritorious Good Time Program, but he says “nothing materialized.”

Young, who is also director of the Program for Prison Reentry Strategies with the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law, says: “The fact that it hasn’t been done yet, it’s actually kind of mind boggling.”

“When a window for reform opens, it can close very quickly,” says John Maki, executive director of the John Howard Association, a Chicago-based prison watchdog group.
Maki says that in the wake of the MGT Push scandal, the idea of reinstating an early release program is a nonstarter with the Quinn administration. “It is dead,” he says. “It’s politically poisonous.” Maki and other advocates argue that the program has been in use in Illinois since the 1970s as a way to control prison populations as well as encourage good behavior from prisoners. “MGT was around for 30-plus years. It was something that administrations from both parties used. It was noncontroversial. … This is a standard practice in corrections.”

He says that overcrowding in Illinois prisons is by no means caused by the lack of an early release program for the last two years. He says the problem is a result of “decades of bad laws and policies” that will take a “multi-pronged solution” to tackle. However, he says that reinstating the Meritorious Good Time program could help to address serious problems at some of the state’s minimum- and medium-security lockups. “The minimum [security prisons] don’t tend to get a lot of press and don’t get a lot of attention.” But Maki says his group, which tours correctional facilities and issues reports on them, has found “inhumane” conditions at some of the lower security facilities. He says these offenders, who are often not locked up for violent crimes, would be the ideal candidates for early release based on good behavior.

He points to the association’s review of the Vandalia Correctional Center in 2011. The minimum-security prison was designed to hold 1,100 but instead holds 1,748. The state considers the prison to be at operational capacity. However, when association monitors visited the facility, inmates were housed in standing water in rain-flooded basements. The association’s report links the conditions directly to the state’s lack of a Meritorious Good Time program. “[John Howard Association monitors] found the conditions in these lower-level dormitory basements to be unsafe, unsanitary and unacceptable. The blame lies not with Vandalia’s administration, however, but with the Illinois governor and legislature, who created this deplorable situation. The suspension of Meritorious Good Time credit (MGT) in December 2010 by the Illinois governor has greatly exacerbated prison overcrowding — particularly in minimum- security facilities like Vandalia, whose low-level, non-violent offender populations are most affected by MGT’s suspension. Despite this crisis in overcrowding, the governor and legislature have refused to address the issue or take prudent action to replace MGT,” the report said.
“As a direct result of MGT’s suspension, Vandalia was forced to absorb more than 300 additional inmates into a facility already bursting at its seams with a population that far exceeds its design capacity. Consequently, the only place to house the additional inmates is in dormitory basements, which [monitors] found to be neither safe nor suitable as living quarters.”

Maki said that during a recent visit to the Vienna Correctional Center, another minimum-security prison, monitors found a similar situation, with inmates being housed in a lower level that had broken windows and was infested with cockroaches, birds and mice. According to the DOC, Vienna, which was designed to hold 925, has a population of 1,902. The state says that the prison has a so-called operational capacity of 1,887. As of press time, the John Howard Association had yet to release its report on the Vienna facility.

The state’s classification of operational capacity started popping up in reports last year. It is defined in DOC reports as “the maximum number of inmates a facility can hold.” The “design” or “rated” capacity of a facility is the capacity of the institution when it was built. The design capacity of the state corrections system is 33,703, but the operational capacity is 51,229. So according to the DOC, there’s room left.

“We’re not there yet,” says Sharyn Elman, a spokeswoman for DOC. “We’re still maintaining our numbers under that threshold.” Elman said Quinn’s administration knows there is work to be done. She says DOC is focusing on other tools, such as Adult Redeploy Illinois. That program is based on the successful juvenile model, which seeks to rehabilitate offenders through community programs, such as addiction counseling, instead of prison time.

However, Maki, Young and Erickson agree that good time credits can be used as a tool to reward positive behavior in prisoners and encourage them to work toward rehabilitation.

“Illinois is pretty much at a crisis in terms of overcrowding. I think that it’s not being acknowledged by the administration,” Young says. While the state seems to have adopted a policy of denial when it comes to the problems in its corrections system, Illinoisans are also culpable. We cannot have unrealistic expectations of our state. We must demand that our government act in a competent, humane and open way. What we cannot demand is that it protects us from every evil that could potentially befall us. But few of us want to live in a society that locks up all criminals and throws away the key. And even if we do, we simply cannot afford it unless we want to fund nothing but prison costs.

Unfortunately, this forces us to confront inherent risks of our society. Some criminals will reform, and some will reoffend. Focused screening and requirements for early release, which exclude violent offenders from eligibility, and programs that can help inmates make the difficult transition back into society can improve the odds. But we have to accept that some people who get out will offend again and sometimes even violently.

Maki says that public backlash over scandals in the criminal justice system stem from the basic human desire of all individuals “wanting to protect themselves, their families and their loved ones.” However, he says that instead of being reactionary, we must look to what works. “Incarcerating this many people does not keep you safe,’’ because prisoners at present lack access to rehabilitation programs.

While half-baked plans such as MGT Push, which was carried out sloppily and without public notifications, spur righteous outrage, such high profile scandals should not bar the way for effective policies geared toward real goals: encouraging rehabilitation, improving prison conditions and spending less money on incarceration. It seems the Meritorious Good Time program needs some work, as well as some changes to the law, to become focused on such goals. But having survived the scandal of MGT Push, Quinn could be just the guy to get the ball rolling.

Illinois Issues, January 2012


The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) is overflowing with prisoners and can no longer afford to house the many non-violent offenders needlessly imprisoned in Illinois. Locking people up and throwing away the key is no longer the answer to crime. It burdens the public with expense, and non-violent offenders are not rehabilitated. Prison has been found to be the necessity only for violent, repeat offenders who require incarceration in the interests of public safety.

Severe budget shortfalls and forced IDOC staff reductions are making IDOC want to reduce Illinois inmate populations to manageable levels.  IDOC Director, Michael Randle, in conjunction with the directives of Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn was moving IDOC in a new direction in reforming IDOC and establishing policies to encourage the “early release” of low-status offenders.  Randle was replaced with Gladyse Taylor, by Quinn in September 2010, and Quinn announced  he will no longer use Early Release programs to reduce the IDOC population. Other states are beginning to use Early Release programs to reduce prison populations, but until the political consensus in IL reverses and overcomes the negative press from the last Early Release attempt, no Early Release program will happen in Illinois.

Gladyse Taylor merely babysat the department, and Quinn did not name her final IDOC Director. Instead, on April 25, 2011, Governor Quinn nominated Salvador “Tony” Godinez to lead the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Last, the executive director of the Cook County Sheriff’s Department of Corrections, Godinez has spent 37 years working in the correctional system, including as warden of Stateville Correctional Center, as well as chief of operations and chief of staff at IDOC. Godinez is a “no nonsense, experienced IDOC staffer— an old pro. Consensus within corrections is that “he is a safe pick…won’t shake things up, but sure as hell won’t screw things up either. No MGT Push surprises out of this guy. Boring is good in corrections.” Godinez was easily confirmed by the IL General Assembly, and has been following the policy set out by Quinn, but has at least been making some honest statements.

On October 8, 2010, Quinn stated that his emphasis to reduce the swelling prison population will  be on “on alternative sentencing, boot camps, working with local law enforcement and local sheriffs to not have people come into the state prison at all.” Up to this point, we have seen no initiatives from Quinn. Local counties still control alternative sentencing options and with local and county budgets been hit, these alternatives are increasingly being eliminated and not expanded.

IDOC officials indicated for over a year that the revamping of MGT is IDOC’s top priority and that it involves a number of related steps in order to complete. This has pretty much now been debunked as political spin intended to distract the public away from Quinn’s reluctance to address prison overcrowding and reinstate any form of an early release program.

Quinn may have a few more unpleasant surprises up his sleeve. Last year he pushed hard for a state tax increase and got it, but it did not solve the state’s fiscal problems. Illinois is more in the hole than ever, and there are no more magic rabbits for Quinn. Now, his only solutions are to cut state expenses and increase the state’s efficiency, and he is starting to move in ways which may be ruthless. Quinn had seven state facilities on the chopping block for closure last year. Their closures were averted at the time, but now a whole new list of closures are proposed and some will probably carry through no matter what happens with the state budget.

Supposedly, there has been a statewide push for several years for circuit courts and counties to develop local programs to recognize and correct the problem of persons being sent to prison who either do not need to be there in the first place or who do not benefit by being in prison. While it is known that some individuals are dangerous to society or deserving of severe punishment; IL prisons today are largely filled with more minor offenders who are not rehabilitated but simply warehoused by state prison.  Adult Redeploy was designed to create funding methods for communities to develop alternative court supervision and rehabilitative programs to reserve state prison for serious and dangerous offenders.

Some communities deserve credit for getting their jail populations under control, because they have been proactive in realizing that it is better to rehabilitate rather than punish the citizens who ultimately return to their communities. Other communities have continued to deal harshly with offenders and are just beginning to consider their options as they are finding that they cannot afford the costs of jailing everyone. Unfortunately, much better progress could have been made with Adult Redeploy up to this point in time. Now, if the state also throws responsibility for prison inmates upon these localities, it may swamp them. Not only that, but the state and these localities will face the public unwillingness to host inmates since these localities have been trained for years to criminalize offenders.

The chickens are coming home to roost for IL. On the one hand the state is running out of money as the prison population continues to climb; on the other hand, electoral rhetoric and “Get tough on Crime” politics have created a public atmosphere which is unreceptive to the degree of mindset change required to  deal with prison overcrowding and avoid the embarrassing lawsuits and costly effects it has has in other states.

We will continue to update information as events unfold, but at this point, readers should not expect implementation of any early release program until after the November 2012 elections and possibly 2013.


AP Exclusive: Lawmakers seek prison crowding fix

FILE – In this April 2004 file photo, eighty-six inmates share a dormitory at the minimum-security Vandalia Prison in Vandalia, Ill. With Illinois’ prison population continuing to rise and Gov. Pat Quinn refusing to reinstate a program that gave well-behaved prisoners early release, lawmakers from both parties are pushing plans this spring to find alternatives to incarceration or other ideas to reduce the state’s packed lockups. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman,File) — AP
By JOHN O’CONNOR, AP Political Writer
3:23 p.m., Jan. 20, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Lawmakers from both parties are seeking ways to reduce Illinois’ growing prison population, and one has introduced legislation to restart a contentious program that let well-behaved prisoners out early.

Gov. Pat Quinn shut down the 30-year-old early release program after The Associated Press reported in 2009 that prison officials had implemented an unpublicized, accelerated version that was springing criminals in as little as eight days.

He has shown no interest in reviving it, but least one legislator is looking at it again as the prison population has grown by 3,000 inmates in two years. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers is meeting with Quinn to find solutions more palatable to the governor and the public.

Conditions inside state prisons are “wretched,” according to John Maki, executive director of the prison watchdog group John Howard Association. Monitoring visits to Illinois lockups in the past year have revealed inmates housed in gymnasiums, standing water in living quarters and rodent problems.

Illinois is not alone in trying to address prison crowding. An August report by the American Civil Liberties Union identified six states that have adopted laws in the past five years to decrease prison populations, with four more working on the issues. One of the more popular tacks among reform states is to expand good-conduct credit, including in Kentucky and Ohio just last year.

Prison advocates nationwide generally support early release as one solution to overcrowding, and Rep. Art Turner, D-Chicago, has introduced legislation that would restore Illinois’ accelerated early-release program. But the governor previously has said he won’t go along with that, even with new controls imposed by lawmakers, after problems with the program nearly cost him reelection in 2010.

Instead, Quinn’s staff has been working with a group of legislators who plan to pick up the pace when the General Assembly resumes its work later this month. Some told the AP they hope to have a solution by the end of the spring session.

The group includes Rep. Dennis Reboletti, a law-and-order legislator who speaks of being “smart on crime” and advocates alternative sentencing, such as treatment for first- or second-time substance abusers.

“Put them into community-based programs with ankle bracelets, into treatment centers or halfway houses where they can get job counseling or programming to put them back into a productive life,” the Elmhurst Republican said.

As of November, there were 48,620 people incarcerated in Illinois, 144 percent more than the 33,700 for which space was designed, according to the Corrections Department. But department officials now play down those numbers, saying “operational capacity” is about 51,200. That’s after the agency began counting how many people a facility can actually hold, along with what it was designed to house.

For decades in Illinois, the director of the Corrections Department had the discretion to cut sentences with “meritorious good time,” or MGT, by up to six months for an inmate who displayed good behavior behind bars.

But Quinn abandoned the practice in December 2009 after the AP reported that the agency secretly dropped an informal requirement that all incoming inmates serve 60 days behind bars before getting good-time credit in a plan dubbed “MGT Push.” More than 1,700 inmates were released under that program, and some went on to commit more crimes.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Derrick King, for example, was sentenced to three years in prison for a brutal attack on a woman in 2008. He served about a year in county jail and 14 days in state prison before he was released in October 2009 under MGT Push and then arrested the next day on suspicion of assault and sent back to prison.

Lawmakers later put the 60-day minimum sentence requirement into law. An independent review of the accelerated early-release program determined the Quinn administration had failed to consider dangers to public safety in trying to save money and recommended it be reinstated with reforms.

Quinn has not said why his administration will not reinstate the program, although he said in October 2010 he was focusing on “alternative sentencing approaches.” Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson confirmed he’s working with the legislative group to “manage population numbers while continuing to incarcerate – for safety, rehabilitation, and punishment.”

Along with Reboletti, the panel meeting with Quinn’s staff about a solution includes Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale and Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin. Each says he’s open to options that keep the public safe but reduce the inmate population to make prisons safer and spare the state budget. The House Democrats’ representative is parliamentarian David Ellis, the governor’s office said.

Dillard, a candidate for governor in 2010 and potentially again in 2014, said early release is not popular, given the shock of MGT Push.

“My constituents want people locked up,” he said. “They’re tired of people who still should be locked up in the penitentiary (out) committing crimes.”

Nonetheless, he’s open to ideas such as Reboletti’s.

Turner’s bill would reverse the new 60-day minimum prison sentence requirement and give the Corrections director discretion to release anyone who has served 60 days behind any bars, including in county jails. Turner did not return repeated calls and an email seeking comment.

Regardless of the method, something has to happen soon, Maki said.

At Vandalia prison in June, John Howard visitors found dirty, stagnant water pooling on the floor of inmates’ living areas. One dormitory, Building 19, at Vienna prison in September had rodent droppings and inmates complained of mice and cockroaches. Windows on two floors were broken and birds had built nests inside.

“When you put nonviolent offenders in deplorable conditions you’re not going to make this person better,” said Maki, whose report blames Quinn and lawmakers who have cut corrections budgets. “Prisons are not typically uplifting places, but Building 19 was one of the most depressing things I’ve ever seen.”

Illinois governor to close 2 state institutions

Governor Quinn Announces Active Community Care Transition Plan

Rebalancing Plan Will Increase Community Care Options for People with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions

This entry was posted on January 21, 2012 at 6:28 am and is filed under Early Release, FOIA-Freedom of Information Act, IDOC, IL in Fiscal Ruins, Local Issues, Meritorious Good Time, Uncategorized. Tagged: , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Edit this entry.


In September 2009, Quinn and Randle initiated an “Early Release” Program (described below) to test the effect of releasing 1,000 short-term inmates early in order to save IDOC costs. The hope was that these individuals successfully released would pave the way for the state to subsequently release 7,000 – 10,000 additional inmates at significant cost savings to IDOC. Unfortunately, the program was not well implemented and some individuals were released who had violent backgrounds and who committed crimes upon release. The political backlash incurred by Quinn over the program resulted in his terminating all IDOC Early Release Programs in December 2009. It also resulted in Quinn canceling all Meritorious Good Time Credits which IDOC awarded (up to six months) to inmates in order to shorten their IDOC sentences.

A commission was established to investigate the Early Release programs and report back findings in May 2010. That report issued August 12, 2010.

In the meantime, lack of MGT reinstatement leaves many individuals in IDOC facilities serving longer terms than they anticipated. Many are reporting that they have been misinformed by prosecutors concerning the length of their sentences prior to accepting plea bargains. Any individual considering the acceptance of a plea agreement must now be aware that under the current IDOC situation, you will have to serve a minimum of 61 days of any sentence agreed to and will not be granted any good time credits until legislative action is taken. No matter what the court or prosecutor tells you; MGT is not guaranteed. It is discretionary and, in fact, no credit will be granted to anyone now unless MGT is formally reinstated by IDOC.  Any other Early Release program is now unlikely to occur no matter what happens. will continue to update this page with the latest information concerning IDOC Early Release and Good Time Credits as it is received, but we do not anticipate any movement here for a long time.

In July 2010, IDOC began releasing individuals who it states were approved for Early Release prior to January 2010. IDOC has set up the public notification page on it’s website it is required to do listing names and (unfortunately) the addresses and offense information for all inmates that it is now releasing early because they were approved for Good Time credits before the program was suspended. All inmates who were approved before the suspension know who they are and have been waiting to be released. Sources within IDOC say there may be a backlog of up to three years worth of pre-approved individuals awaiting their release. Curiously, many of the persons now being released entered IDOC as recently as 2009. Meanwhile, for the rest of IDOC inmates, MGT remains suspended awaiting legislative action.  For these individuals, there are no short-cuts. Early Release is no longer expected to be reinstated.

Erickson’s Report on IDOC Early Release Issued August 12, 2010

Posted by tennesseetree on August 14, 2010

The delay in issuing Judge Erickson’s report and assessment of the IDOC Early Release Program and awarding of MGT Credit is now explained. The report was issued today during a major press conference conducted by IDOC ranking officials and Governor Quinn’s Administration.

The report and accompanying information may be viewed at the IDOC website, at,

Most of the report findings are not new because bits and parts of them have been previously leaked to the press by Erickson and other IDOC officials.

At the core of the new plan for implementing awarding of all Meritorious Good Time Credits to IDOC inmates are three points: 1. requiring inmates to earn credits and spend at least 60 days in state custody before receiving any awards for meritorious conduct, 2. developing formal, consistent procedures and policies for programs (with public input) and implementing these department- wide under the responsibility of the IDOC’s Chief Public Safety Officer, and 3. instituting a fully electronic advance notification process with appropriate procedural safeguards, to give local authorities time to respond to or prepare for a prisoner’s release and to plan for public safety.

What is apparent is that Quinn needed the time from January to now to get IDOC agency staff on-board and put the IDOC internal house in order as well as restructure the essentials of the IDOC Early Release program along the lines of the recommendations contained in the report before formally releasing the report and it’s specifics. Quinn timed the report release to issue now, before the November elections to demonstrate to the public that Quinn has the answer to his critics and  a master plan to capably handle IDOC and all Early Release issues. Quinn wants no more political embarrassment from IDOC or early release and is effectively deflecting all opportunity for attack on the issue of crime by making IDOC a non-issue for this November’s election. Unfortunately, this ploy did not quite work out and Quinn released Mike Randle from his position as IDOC director in September 2010, in response to further political attacks from Quinn’s opponents.

Everybody has to note, that much of the plan and many of the objectives outlined by IDOC today still exist more on paper than in fact. What this means to the public is delay; a lot of additional delay before the agency actually once again starts to award MGT to anyone not previously approved to receive it. As IDOC stated today, several of the recommended reforms announced will require legislative action and if they are also seeking public input for procedures; then, as we all know, it will take quite a while. Obviously, Early Release will not be in place by November 2010, and probably not before Spring 2011. In the meantime current MGT and Early Release programs remain suspended; so sorry, but no one else is getting approved for them until then.

We have a plan; it is a large plan, and we can only wait to see how well it is implemented.


A Scandal that Wasn’t – The Facts about “Early Release”

(Factsheet handled out to press by Alan Mills of Uptown People’s Law Office at August 11, 2010 hearing on Early Release)

1.  Nobody in any Illinois prison was released early.

a)  The 1,745 prisoners released during Fall 2009 under the Push-MGT program all served terms mandated by law.  The initiative taken by IDOC director Randle was to award MGT (Meritorious Good Time) to all those who were eligible for it, rather than arbitrarily withholding it from prisoners serving less than 61 days.  (These prisoners already served terms of at least three months in local jails before transfer to IDOC custody.)

b)  Prisoners serving terms less than 61 days are extremely expensive because they must be examined and classified, and assigned to a program of rehabilitation.  But since they are generally released long before they have to access rehabilitative programming – sometimes even before they have left Reception and Classification — a few additional days or weeks of incarceration is pointless.

c)  The average reduction in sentence for prisoners released under revised Push-MGT was 37 days.

2.  The scheduled release of prisoners was not secret.

a)  Though not much discussed in the media, Meritorious Good Time is a program that is well-known by corrections professionals and many legislators.  The law establishing the program  — 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(a)(3) and (a)(4) — was passed in 1978 by Republican Governor James R. Thompson. The initiative was expanded by Republican Governor Jim Edgar in 1993 with added good time for the completion of educational, substance abuse and other programs.

b)  IDOC Director Randle publicly announced the expansion of the MGT release program in Sepember 2009. In addition, the IDOC lists on its website the names and photos of all prisoners in its custody, or under post-release supervision.  When the controversy about MGT arose, the IDOC separately published the names of released prisoners.

3. Push-MGT did not lead to higher recidivism.

a)  Illinois’ three-year recidivism rate is 51%.  Of the 1745 prisoners released under Push-MGT, just 57 (3.26%) were returned to prison for new offenses.  However under pressure from lawmakers and the press, new rules were established that lead to the return to prison of many more, 841 (48.2%).  These men were sent back to prison for technical, even petty violations, including a single positive drug or alcohol test or possession of alcohol in the home.  The new rules also required prisoners to make daily phone reports and twice-weekly visits to a parole office, sometimes hundreds of miles from their homes.  Violation of any of these provisions resulted in re-incarceration.

b)  A few of the released prisoners committed serious crimes, and this is regrettable. The story of Edjuan Payne who committed a murder in Peoria is especially disturbing.  But the crime for which Payne was incarcerated when he received good time credit was relatively minor, and a number of trained professionals – including conservatives on the Prisoner Review – determined that any threat posed by his release was small. They made a mistake that turned out to be tragic.  Some prisoners – whenever they are released – will recommit crimes, and there is no reason to believe that a few extra days or weeks in prison will turn a recidivist into a model citizen.  The only proven method of reducing recidivism is education, rehabilitation, and jobs.

4.  Most states have programs like MGT and they have been proven both safe and effective.

a)  A carefully controlled study of crime and punishment in New York, Michigan, Kansas, and New Jersey has indicated that prison populations can be safely cut by eliminating mandatory minimum terms, reducing or ending sentences for minor drug offenses, and increasing the use of meritorious good time (The Sentencing Project, Downsizing Prisons:  Lessons from Four States).   New York State has cut its prison population by 20% and reduced violent crime by 30% over ten years.  Saving money is compatible with public safety.

b)  The bi-partisan Taxpayer Action Board (TAB) appointed by Governor Quinn in 2009, recommended that the IDOC dramatically reduce its large, low-risk inmate population by allowing those who “no longer represent a significant risk to society” to “reenter society under state supervision.” MGT serves this essential purpose.

c)  The Illinois Crime Reduction Act of 2009, (SB 1289) co-sponsored by Republican Senator Jim Durkin, was signed into law one year ago by Governor Pat Quinn.  Its mandate is to end the imprisonment of men and women guilty of minor crimes.  One provison of the law, (sec. 10, part c, no, 2), even decrees that additional good time can be earned by prisoners for participating in drug-treatment, educational and other programming. Some of the same legislators who voted to increase the use of MGT condemned it just a few months later!

5. Sen. Bill Brady sponsored a bill that reduced MGT, increasing the states prison population by 2,557 and costing the state an estimated $64 Million dollars per year!

a)  The Illinois prison population now stands at 47,718, an annualized increase of nearly 10% from the previous year, at a time when most states have been reducing their prison populations.  According to research by Malcolm Young of Northwestern University’s Bluhm Legal Clinic, Illinois could save 120 Million dollars a year by reducing its prison population by just 5,000 – a modest 10% reduction.

b)  The 28 Illinois prisons were built to hold 31,000 inmates.  They are now greatly overcrowded, leading to greater violence, sickness and mental illness among prisoners, and much greater danger to corrections officers.

The real scandal is that the prison population has been allowed to soar, recidivism rates to rise, and our pockets emptied because a few politicians prefer to arouse fear than offer real solutions.  The only path forward is to offer alternatives to prison for those who commit minor offenses, and educational and rehabilitation programs to those we must imprison.


Linda Shelton has an excellent analysis on the injustices that will result on persons convicted on non-violent and lesser offenses as a result of the new State law passed in January 2010, requiring all IDOC prisoners to serve at least 61 days of their sentence prior to release from IDOC. As she shows, “early release” is not secret, is not new, and is not even necessarily “early”:–misinformation-being-disseminated



IDOC Director Randle announces prison reforms

State provides funding to the Illinois Department of Corrections for smarter prevention, tougher enforcement


IDOC Director Randle welcomes members of the Adult Advisory Board

Board will assist IDOC in reforming state’s criminal justice system


October 13, 2009, Chicago Sun-Times commentary, at:,CST-EDT-edit13.article


Latest information on IDOC Inmate Early Release & Reforms:

  1. […] Read most current information regarding status of  IDOC  Early Release & Good Time Credits here […]


    • Ann Mcmiller says:

      I would truely like to know;If QUINN will be signing anything by march 18 2011 please. Inform me .


      • troy says:

        i think this system sucks and they dont wana see someone start a new life or even give som one a real true start at life!


  2. jon burgener says:

    Ok, So here is a question for you. What about the people that where sentenced before the MGT (good time) was taken away, shouldnt they still be eligable for the good time since it wasnt astablished until after that person for persons were sentenced. You know its not the inmates fault for your councilors cannot do there jobs right and put the person or persons in for the MGT or good time. I think that any person that was sentenced before this took place should still be eligable for the MGT or good time what ever you may call it. And if there not going to give to those inmate then a lawyer should let them know and the reasons behind it. That seems fair to me and logical.


    • Glaydes says:

      Jon and all,

      More than a few people agree with you. First, no one is really sure how upfront Governor Quinn is about supporting early release and good time for inmates. All the politicians are doing right now is exploiting the public’s concern about “Public Safety” issues in IL. Every one of them is coming out with strong language on getting tough on “criminals”. So none of them are going to do anything favorable and sensible about MGT or early release till after the November elections. After November, if Quinn is still Gov, we will see if he comes out with anything reasonable about MGT. If not, then yes; there is at least one organization out there which is considering taking legal action against the state for those who were sentenced before the MGT rules were changed. There are a lot of inmates hanging there who are being unfairly affected by these changes and who should be eligible for MGT under the earlier rules according to general legal principles.

      When legal action is finally announced, please, everybody support the organization that spearheads this campaign!


      • Itotally agree with this and for every one of these inmates who took a plea with the intention of promised mgt,for isn’t that fair?…..or is it just forget these first time offenders?If Gov.Quinn is re-elected in Nov……everyone who votes for him should just remove themselves from life for they aren’t doing any good……but they would be just like their voted in Govenor ..NO GOOD FOR NO ONE BUT THEMSELVES!


  3. Vicki W. says:

    I can’t believe anyone would thing cancelling the mgt would help the situation. There are so many inmates in there that shouldn’t be there. My son has been in since January because of lies and a crooked and corrupt county justice system. He deserves to earn good time and have a chance to come home. All the other inmates deserve those rights also. The solution is to reinstate it but take more precautions to insure the right ones are released. Each inmate should be evaluated very carefully and helped to re-enter society. Maybe you should invest in the right people to do the job and make the system work. with that you would make a lot of families happy and give inmates the freedom they deserve. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    • grace gramas says:

      I read the article and it makes me sick to my stomack knowing how the politicians pass any law to their advantage to win election. My son is in prison because police is corrupted i doesn’t tell the truth but the opposite. They lie and lie. That’s how the justice system is. It’s easier to get away with morder sometime than be panished with DUI. I experienced how the judicial system works on county level etc. All is b.s. Even if the judge recomends rehab the prison system will throw an inmate wherever they have “a spot” to shovel a human.. I can’t believe how the system is working. Only the rich can get a break not regular people.


      • Justa West says:

        oh my! Thats so Fkn true! like my fiance for instance he got 3 mths 4 1 dirty drop that he was honest about & was wanting rehab or some kind of help, but HELL NO!!!!!!!! they sent him 2 our cty. jail & so to speak threw away the key was ;ocked up n the cty. w/ a bunch o nuts! and they couldnt give him a visit cuz the turnkeys r 2 fn lazy 2 wheel the monitors from cell 2 cell, a bunch o BS. neway we r tryn 2 appeal it all & hopefully hell b home n 2 wks 2 a mth. i miss n luv u LDB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If u ever c this my luv! hopefully u will, miss n luv u 2 the stars n back!


  4. Ms. Nolove says:

    Why are the inmates with the lesser crimes being countably for the gov. Quinn mistake and his office. I feel that is not fair to ours love one, that was do to come home on good time. Now they got to wait to u’ll fix what you did wrong. And how long do that suppost to take.


  5. sbiggs65 says:

    I believe that MGT should be re-instated. I don’t have anyone in the prison system but it just seems logical from IL budget standpoint. Criminals with lesser offenses who are in a rehab-type correctional facility should be considered first. Those are the individuals who are there because of drug and alcohol offenses and have requested to be there to try to change that type of behavior. Admission that they have a problem is the first step. There are phase-ups that they have to complete in order to change their way of thinking and become productive citizens when released. The solution is to reinstate it but take better precautions in evaluating the inmates.


  6. jaymie shanks says:

    I think that the inmates that were sentenced b4 Quinn screwed up deserve a chance with MGT. My husband took a plea beleaving that he would get the MGT and here we are11mnts later still nothing. Its not fair he hasnt been n trouble b4and he was wrong place wrong time nd the county he got convictd n was corrupt and wantd him lockd up4a long time! These non violent inmates deserve a chance with the mgt if they were sentenced b4it got taken away. Its not their fault Quinn screwd up and didnt screen the inmates right and he had all the inmate families voting4him me bein1of them thinking our loved1would get the chance they deserve with the mgt n he isnt sticking2his word once again! PLEASE HELP GET THESE INMATES THE MGT THEY DESERVE!!!!!!!


  7. Ms. Katie says:

    I would like to know why an inmate can’t recieve medical help that’s part of there rights since they can’t go out to the doctor. My husband is a disabled individual and paying for a nonviolent crime. He was promised during sentence that he would get day for day they lied. He was suppose to have surgery while inside but he can’t even get the proper healthcare or medicine we aren’t asking for much just what was manddated in court during sentencing.So don’t trust what the lawyers or the judges say.Mgt was promised before December 9, 2009 so why is he caught up in this scandal of Quinns no early release when it was part of his sentencing!?


  8. Ms.Mechee says:

    I feel you, Ms.Katie! My fiance is there on a DUI charge,& um it’s been almost 2yrs he’s been
    incarcerated. This is bullshit!& not only did they pick him up on private property, but we were sitting on our own driveway & no accidents were involved. So what would you think about that? This is why these jails are overcrowded!


    • Heather says:

      Im with both of u jaymie and katie. My boyfriend hasnt been sentenced yet but he was charged with delivery a couple of months ago. Then a couple of weeks ago my boyfriend who is out on bail was with a couple of friends playing pool and a man was calling my man names so my man open handed slapped him. No one was hurt actually my bf got sucker punched by another guy and his chin got cut open. My bf ended up in jail for agg. battery. witch should have been just a simiple battery. Now he is in jail and they want to give him 5 yrs. Knowing that the idoc is over populated.I think the only ones who should serve all thier time is the ppl who hurt/kill women-babies and children. O and i forgot to mention that my cuz came over to tell me that his gf is getting 9months mgt. I dont know how true this is. but i hope he was telling me the truth!


  9. shantell says:



  10. shantell says:

    PLZ PLZ can someone plz give me more info on good time my husband is there for a dum reason ..he has a suspend lic ..we are both counting on good time he was told if he pleds gulity he will be out less in 2 weeks because he has already done 1 cell is 773 701-1699 plz text me info about good time thanks


    • arturo says:

      i myself too. if i take the plea. i will receive a one year sentence which takes place on march 11, 2011. how much did they offer him?


  11. Mark'd-N-Violation says:

    Good time supposely is to return sometime in the Spring of 2011. Unfortunately, this is a terrible thing for many of our love ones!…….many who was told by lawyers and judges that they would serve an even lesser sentence with the pleas they took. Many of the inmates were told that they would be credited for the time that they had already served in jail. We can all see that was NOT TRUE! Imagine that! You can’t trust no one but God!……..So those of you that have love ones in prison, Expect the longest sentence rendered but Hope for the Best! All we can do at this time and should always do is Pray and keep Faith!……..and please keep SUPPORTING our LOVE ONES! As long as they know they have a GREAT SUPPORT SYSTEM such as FAMILY and FRIENDS, they will be FINE!


    • arturo says:

      “and please keep SUPPORTING our LOVE ONES! As long as they know they have a GREAT SUPPORT SYSTEM such as FAMILY and FRIENDS, they will be FINE!”

      very well said


  12. deniece says:

    these non-violent inmates did what they did to survive, because of they’er background some people had labled them has being the worst people walking the earth.Iam not saying that what they did was right I am not God Almighty so I will not judge them but I do think that Gov Quinn should release the non-violent inmates instead of holding them more than there are there for that’s why prisons are overcrowed.they claim that the state is slow paying the vendors in the prisons, release some of these inmates then see where the money is. Gov.Quinn you’re back in office LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE.


  13. Tabitha says:



  14. deniece says:

    to tabitha;those chumps told me the same thing.mine got 18 months and his year was up in dec.he’s in work release now waiting for quinn to release the non-violent inmates. All those lawyers want is to take money,call them selves doing is their job. they don’t care if they these inmates did’nt have nothing but a simple case of jay walking they want money. as far as an inmate shining an officer’s anything he should have reported it unless there’s something else. I wish I would pick cotton or anything concerning slavery. how low can they go.


  15. Larry says:

    Our son was sentenced to prison for stealing a $15 bottle of liquor and this was done after he had recovered from 4 brain surgeries from traumatic motorcycle accident; judge refused to let that be an excuse; he was on power trip and had to show all who was boss! We were told with early out he would be out in Aug. 2010 but he’s still at Mt. Sterling where he is getting no medical treatment as prison Dr. thinks nothing is wrong! I sent 500 page hospital transcript to my son and he showed it to prison Dr. and he threw it in trash! Our son needs medical attention! The guards always use excuse they are under staffed and yet every time we go to visit our son there are 4 & 5 guards standing around in visiting area eating are joking around. Counselors are no help at all; they never have time to help do anything!Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help get good time back!


  16. gloria says:

    I think the govenor is scaried to stand up to the REPUBLICANS. The early release program has been in existence for 30 years now all of a sudden its not working..I dont think the REPUBLICANS really care about this program I think it was used for political reasons so Brady could get in office..I voted for Quinn but I expect him to do the right thing and reinstate that early release program..My son is in jail for a dui ..He had never been to jail before in his life but a man in our town killed a unarmed man because his dog urinated on the homeowners lawn and HE IS A FREE MAN ..NO JAIL TIME ..PROBATION …EVEN THOUGH HE KILLED A UNARMED HUMAN BEING ..THE JUDGE SAID THE YOUNG MAN CURSED THE OLDER MAN AND HIT HIM BUT THE TRUTH IS THE MAN WENT BACK IN HIS HOUSE GOT A GUN AND KILLED THE FATHER OF 3..INSTEAD OF CLOSING HIS DOOR AND CALLING THE POLICE BUT THIS IS AMERICAN JUSTICE..THIS IS THE PERSON THAT DOESNT BELONG IN JAIL BECAUSE HE IS 67 YEARS OLD AND NEVER BEEN TO JAIL .MY SON HAD NEVER BEEN TO JAIL EITHER AND HE GOT PRISON TIME ..OH AND WHAT ABOUT THE MOTHER IN INDIANA THAT KILLED HER 3 YEAR OLD AND CARRIED HIS BODY IN A TOTE BAG FOR A YEAR AND GOT A 2500.00 BOND MY SON WITH A DUI GOT A 20,000.00 BOND THAT THEY WOULDNT REDUCE..I DONT UNDERSTAND THE AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM..IF YOUR RICH U DONT GO TO JAIL AT ALL…I HOPE AND PRAY THE GOV QUINN DOES THE RIGHT THING A REINSTATE THE EARLY RELEASE PROGRAM ..I want to know if he is a leader or a follower…


  17. sherry says:

    i think that if the inmate meets all the requirements they should be able to have an opportunity for early release. my husband has been incarcerated for nearrly 4 years and has given up a lot of pride in order to stay out of trouble so he can come home early.Its time for the government to accept the fact that just because a person makes a bad decision doesnt mean they should be forgotten.karma has a way of coming around.


  18. Coleen Howell says:

    We need to write our congressmen and encourage them to reinstate the good time. Our prisons are so overcrowded. I think the good time needs to be closely monitored but it should be reinstated.


  19. pissedofffiance says:

    Who else should we notify? Names and addresses and ill gladly write them. Thank you


  20. Sandra says:

    I don’t understand why some of these Correctional Officers keep giving inmates false statements about the early release. I have a loved one in East Moline who hears different stories even from people out here in the free world, I suggest they do a little research before opening there mouths and having inmates believe untrue stories!


  21. Kristy says:

    My husband was railroaded by his attorney and the judge and was sentenced to 3 1/2 years for a class 4 felony the lowest felony you can get and it was for a non violent crime. I have wrote a lot of state reps and congressmen. I got a response from one of them. He just said that they are working on it and for me to call back. Maybe if we all just keep writing and sending letters to all the state reps and congressmen maybe they will not put the MGT on the back burner. The state would save so much money. The inmates that are not a threat to society should be able to get early release and if the state is so worried about money they need to start with releasing these types of inmates. Apparently they are not to worried or it would already be in effect.


  22. KIMM says:

    I feel as if you all should give the inmates there good time back because they did not make the mistake of letting all the other inmates out when the gov, was giving away all that good time so now other inmates have to pay when they could be at home with there familys.


  23. jake says:

    I was sentenced to 2 1/2 years for a non- violent crime this is my first time down and ive been down for 7 months now. I have made it to work release in Chicago, we all been hearing rumors bout good time and the electroic monitor but theres still nothing and by the time i get out i will of been down for a full year…if anyone hears bout anything let me know please n thank you.


  24. Norma says:

    Aside from praying & believing in God for a miracle that the MGT program be reinstated, what specifically should we write our Governor, Legislators, Congressman, etc? And would it be more effective to email or write a letter? Thank you


  25. craigoverheul says:

    I just came home 3 25 11 working 60+Hrs a week but am being sent back 2maro bcuz i worked ovrtime and i violated my bracelet mvt


    • separate&unequal says:

      thats crazy because im on electronic monitoring also,and i lost my job and cant get another one because of being on the bracelet,some of these programs are NOT designed for us to progressively prosper,butt we are suppose to be and stay “rehabilitared”.


  26. evelyn says:

    My husband took his time cuz of mgt he is suppose 2 get out next year n now he might get out in 2013 can someone tell me some good nes cuz im going crazy


  27. adrienne swanigan-williams says:

    my brother is an inmate @ jacksonville he was sentenced to one yr. in prison he sat in the county jail for three months an statesville for two weeks,nw he suppose to come home 8-17-11 an i was wondering was he going to come home before then with good time…i thinnk it was a waste of tax payers money to send him down state for a non violent crime,for that short period of time the prisons are to crowded an i feel they need to save the space for more serious crimes.


  28. Erica Carden says:

    I ask that you please give the 6 months goodtime back. My husband has been gone for a little over a year now. I have been by myself with 3 kids 10,6 and nine months. I went through a pregnancy by myself and do the best i can. Things are rough out here with three kids and only one income. The kids and i would love him to come home. My husband is incarcerated for deceptive practice and theft. I hope and pray everyday that the goodtime will come back! He’s missing his boys grow up and they need a father! Thank you!


    • Ashtin Wert says:

      You Are Not Alone. I Hope Six Month Good Time Comes Back Also. My Mother Is In Decatur Correctional Center. She Was Sent To Prison Because She Couldnt Stay Clean And Was Sentenced To Two Years. She Missed Out On My 16th Birthday, Prom, And Missed Out On My Younger Brothers Birthdays. She Is Missing Out On Alot And Her Children Need Her Here With Us To Watch Us Grow Up. I Pray For You And The Many Other Families That Are Affected With Good Time Being Canceled. I Hope You Get Your Husband Back Soon And We Get My Mother Back. Sincerely, Ashtin


  29. Erica Carden says:

    If anyone hears anythimg please let me know!


  30. Diane says:

    Governor Quinn, Please give the Good TimeProgram another try???!!! I know by releasing those prisoners back in( I beleive it was) 2009 didnt go over very well. Please don’t make all others pay for that. Please do something!!! Like Obama says u gotta do something. We All live to fight another day. Things dont turn out the way we plan, but we cannot shut down. Please try it again. and again.. Dont let others suffer for past unfortunates. That is the way life is. We try and try again.. Just know Governor Quinn, if you are faithful and true and honest in what u are doing. The rest will handle itself. As a public official we look to you for Help and support and hope you can feel our pain!!! Sincererly, Mother Dear


  31. BLACK says:



  32. Siretta Hall says:

    I am trying to see if the good time is back. The six month good time. My brother is currently incarcerated and wants to know about the status of the good time.


  33. Mandy says:

    I myself am curious to know when or even if the good time is coming back. My girlfriend is currently incarcerated and is constantly getting her hopes up over rumors about good time being back. She and i both would like to know if it is back?


    • lactoselazy says:

      Sorry, Mandy, but good time has not returned. IDOC has said nothing on when it is likely to return except earliest might perhaps be at the end of this year or during next year. So don’t even expect action on it this fall legislative session.


      • Erin says:

        Is there any new word on the MGT as of today. My fiance is incarcerated and the PO there is telling them they are voting on the issue tomorrow and if it goes through they will start realeasing October 1st of 2011. Im sure this is more rumors but I would like any feed back Please? Thanks


      • tennesseetree says:

        Sorry, but no. What your fiance has been told is clearly a false rumor. No one is “voting” on any issue. The IL state legislators are not even in session. The IL House and IL Senate will not return to begin a new session until October 25, 2011. The PO is just putting a new spin on October 1, as the IDOC staff continue to do for the first of each new month by inventing lies to use to tell inmates so as to keep their behavior in-line. There has been a new or continuing rumor fed to inmates each month since January 2010. Expect no changes to happen even after Oct 25. The session will get underway, but it will take weeks, if not months for anything related to IDOC to be proposed and discussed by legislators. Even then, nothing they come up with will probably effect MGT.


  34. john chavez says:

    my wife is in dwight and was told that gov quinn may sign this month on the good time ,has anyone else heard anything to that effect? if so please contact me at ty


    • mikethemouth says:

      Your wife is being misled. There is NOTHING (no bills, legislation) pending before the Governor to sign anytime before the end of the next legislative Fall Veto session (which begins October 25, 2011, and runs thru Nov 10, 2011), which will reinstate MGT or good time. Really can not repeat this enough. The legislature submitted bills to Governor Quinn dealing with all sorts of issues at the end of May 2011. Some of these bills concerned different criminal legal penalties, and some mentioned small aspects of good time or MGT, but none of these bills either authorized the reinstatement of MGT or Good time! Quinn has signed some of these criminal corrections bills this summer. Nothing he has signed deals with the reinstatement of MGT. Until the fall veto session begins, Quinn can either sign or veto the various bills sent to him. At the fall veto session, legislators will consider those bills he has vetoed or amended and decide if they have the votes to override his veto of some of those bills. In January, the legislative session for next year starts all over again and new bills will be submitted and considered by the legislature. These may take till May to pass, and once again, these are sent to the Governor then. SO, NOTHING IS IN THE LEGISLATIVE ROAD TO THE GOVERNOR AT THIS TIME ABOUT MGT.

      NOT THAT ANY OF THAT REALLY MATTERS! Quinn suspended MGT on his own authority, and he can reinstate it (again on his own authority) at any time. He does not need the legislature to do so. He apparently does not intend to do so until he is satisfied that internal IDOC changes are finished enough for MGT to be handled properly.


  35. bobbi drew says:

    Praying glad others are to


  36. Beth says:

    Call the gov offices and tell them you favor MGT ( if you do ) 1-312-814-2121 & 1-217-782-0244


  37. deborah says:

    Does that mean my boyfriend who in prison will get to come home and we will ffinally get married? i havent saw him in a long time and its very hard to vist aperson in prison.


  38. Ericka says:



  39. Lola Mcdonald says:

    I read all the stuff. And tell me why you keep hanging on to all that old material?
    Please try to move into today November, 17, 2011 What is going on with the
    3 Judges starting to relieve the dangerously overcrowded prisons in California?

    I do hope someone has an answer
    Lola McDonald


  40. Linda Leib says:

    Linda Leib

    My boyfriend is in Vandalia until 3-2-12 but was waiten on good time,but nothing yet. He needs back and eye surgey
    He needs out befor he goes blind. I need help. His name is Roger Arnett.


  41. priscilla r says:



    • kjim says:

      Sure, Priscilla,
      You can check on the IDOC website under inmate search. He has been in IDOC long enough that his out date will be shown when you look him up. Otherwise, he has to serve 1/2 of his sentence or three years starting from May 2009, which is sometime in May 2012.


      • Priscilla r. says:

        Thank you. I did see his discharge date is in may 2012 i was just wondering if he would be released before that date. Also do you know if i can get an order of protection before he is released?


  42. Kjim says:

    Yes Priscilla, you can get an order of protection against him at any time. You can also be sure he will not be out prior to May 2012, because nothing being discussed for early release can go into effect before then.


  43. mindy says:

    I need the return of early realease because my boyfriend Rodger Harris has been a big help to my kids and I since my husband passed away 3 years ago.I’m struggling to make it from day to day.He is lable a bad guy according to the law but to my kids and I he is our hero..


  44. lisa says:

    hi my name is lisa my husband was sentenced in april the judge sentnced him 15 years but gave him a break and he got 4 year fix hes been in idaho prison for a year and 3 months i m hoping he come home early mgt … i am raising our children i hve 3 kids its very hrd to do this your own while your love ones are in prison….my dughters are seeing counslors because hes not here they are reealy having a hrd time hes not going to be paroled unti 2014 max out is 2025 but… i mde a peition bill u guys can make on on there i hope that would help u cna make a signtures there to make it happen… i did make one for me in this state u have to have at least enough people signing the bill… good luck to you all with your loves ones getting mgt im praying for all of us all over the world. i do feel everyones pain… my husband never been in prison bofore this is first felony he hads not had any trouble with the law in the pass ti seem th sentencing i little harsh for pity stuff.. they should be home with their fmilys…


  45. quanita says:

    i was told that mgt good time was back for the 2012 is that true could somebody please clear that up for me thank u


  46. Kayli says:

    Today is January 6th i am trying to find out if good time is back in Illinois i have heard that it is but can not really find any information on it!!!!! Can someone please help me!!!! And if not can you tell me who i can write, call, go see or something to figure it out!!!!! I would really appreciate any feedback!!!! Thank you soooo much and everyone have a great day!!!


  47. Shelly says:

    Today is January 23, 2012 i am trying to find out if good time is back in Illinois. My boyfriend release date states 8/12 but he was told that good time is coming back. If so that would make his release date 2/12… Can someone help me and let me know if this information has any truth to it!! Thank you very much!!!


    • Shelly says:

      Also if it’s not is there any talk that it is coming back or is that just hearsay? Please advise I really need to know this information!!


  48. Gail says:

    Shelly, and everyone asking,

    No, sorry, but good time credits are not back, no matter what IDOC is saying to inmates. As the first articles above state, Gov Quinn and the state legislators who work on IDOC issues are meeting to discuss ways to reduce the prison overcrowding. But they are talking about other ways that inmates can serve out the terms of their sentences, in treatment facilities and programs, or home monitoring, or else in local jail programs, etc. It does not look like they are saying that they will cut anyone’s sentence shorter; just not have them in state prisons. Whatever they decide, the state is going to need time to build up parole agents and all the bureaucracy needed to staff these other options. So, these options might become available maybe by the end of 2012, but they are not there now and won’t be there by summer or fall either. Remember the state is short on money and will have other things to pay for first before May 2012, and then everyone has to agree on what is done anyway too. So, don’t look for any fast action on this to release anyone.


  49. Kesheia Phillips says:

    Please inform me of what will happend with MGT. I pray something changes soon!


  50. shanta fleming says:

    However, this is tragic news to many people that was waiting on family members to come home. I Think this will only make it worse for the system because many where waiting for this option and now they have change their minds so their fore it will be many that are upset, frustrated , and violent if they don’t release them it will be many more back in when they release them in the near future…………


  51. Lisa says:

    yes, iwonder the same thing in idaho too my hhusband been sentenced april 2010 hes been railroaded by someone that lied about him nd hes being charged serious crime that he didnt commit but they sentenced him 15 years and got 4 year fix he got credited from the jail 7 months credit he stil have to do 3 half years yes.. i have 3 girls im raising them alone is so hard my kids r acting out one of my daughters is very close with their father they havent seen him over 15 months he was tranfered to orofino prison having plms in isci to many volience gangs in the prisons….. so he moved i havent seen himm since nov 2011 hes moved and it to farr away like 500 miles of where i live… hes got 2 more years to go yes its so hard i need him home i cant make it with one income its to hard,,,, hes never been in trouble this is his irst offense…. never been in rprison he said it very scary place u get mis judged by the other inmates there……… yes they are overcrdwed they need to fix he have not recieve any dor tickets he been bahving realy good hes doing ged lomost graduating he isnt a hurry but im trying to get him to appeal his post conviction appeal…… hes got 2 weeks to appeal so he will have to wite his judge a letter to appoint him a pd order to do the appeal the appeal takes so long o fight this…… he had a private lawyer he nelegected his case he supposed to file motion rule 35 and he didnt so he wrote the judge to appint him one but they didnt so he filed the motion anyway got denied so they didnt give him ubic defender like they suppsed to.. we i hoepe everyonne does get the mgt back the prisoners derserve to be getting good time or being good and that would save them alot of money so ayway thankyou alll


  52. annette says:

    I would like to know what is going on with mgt I am losing my mind I hope it gets renstaited my loved one is locked up and u want him to come home to me


  53. T says:

    I find it discusting on how there being treated, worse than animals, stuffed in a cage where they don’t fit and to still share these facilities with rodent’s, i shouldn’t have to pay any taxes for this kind of treatment towards human beings………My husband has a 2 1/2 year sentence for a petty conviction he can be doing house arrest, believe me i can drive him crazy as well for free and rodent free………..Governer Pat Quinn you just lost another vote, YOUR A TERRIBLE GOVERNOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT BLAGOJEVICH BACK!!!!!


  54. T says:

    Plus now that my kids dad is gone ima need financial help from the government, Thanks governor your soooooooo smart!!!


    • I am also my husband is a non violent offender lost his only bio child in a malfunction of a boat we had witnesses he watched her live and loved her and we all seen her pass he is in now tring to greive because he had thc in his system which was not smoked that day now I’m sick with a bowel disease and the three kids of mine his stepkids and I miss him


  55. dan says:

    my wife is in on a nonviolent crime i want to know when they vote.


  56. debbie casek says:

    my husband is at a work camp in jacksonville,ill. he got sent up the river with out a paddle by his lawyer. cant they send him home on a ankle monitor to save space on over crowding of the prison systems. he is needed at home to help raise our sons and help take care of his mother in law. he should of gotten probation for a first offense instead of a 9 year sentence. its been about 2 years now and its hell trying to do this on my own. also my husband is so depressed, I fear for the worst if he is not released soon!


  57. MS. NOLOVE says:



  58. DL Latino says:

    Does anyone know, my son was sentenced 3yrs minus 1/2 545 days minus county time of 472 days leaving 75.5 days, court was 4/24/12, he’s waiting in county to go to r & c in joliet, does the time he is waitinng in county now b/4 he goes count towards the 75.5 days, or does the 75.5 days not start til he gets to joliet? HELP!


  59. Felicia Hernandez says:

    Hello. I would like to know if there is any recent news or updates concerning MGT. My fiance was recently sentenced two years for driving on revoked license. He’s been in custody since April 9, 2012. He is a non-violent offender. Are there any other avenues to try to get work release or ankle monitoring? Thank you in advance for any information you might be able to provide.


  60. fab says:

    dont fix if its not broken


  61. Steve Hoophauser says:

    The new name for it is “sentence credit” so instead of saying “good-time” we now need to say “sentence credit.” They are not reinstating “good-time,” now it is “sentence credit.” Did I say “SENTENCE CREDIT” enough times? Just check out:

    It is about ready to pass and start providing sentence credits. Instead of “good conduct for meritorious service” they will now say “sentence credit for good conduct”. So our new phrase of the day is “sentence credit.” For everyone who can say “SENTENCE CREDIT” right you get a “sentence credit.” I hope they are very generous with sentence credits when they start handing out sentence credits. sentence credit. sentence credit. sentence credit.


  62. kenneth cannon says:

    i have to go back to idoc now and i have changed my life with a beautiful new baby girl and i think people deserve another chance i will do my time for what i did because im a man but we r humans not animals we have they ability to learn not all do right away but we do change ty for your time GOD bless


  63. red bone says:

    i want to no if its ever go happen!…… ths dnt make no since!!!


  64. Amanda Baldridge says:

    My brother got two years for probation violation on an aggravated domestic battery. Will he be eligible for a sentence credit?


    • tara says:

      No. He has a domestic battery which is violent, aggravated, which is more violent, and then a probation violation (which means he is a reoffender according to IDOC). That is 3 strikes against him in terms of the eligibility criteria they look at. They will only consider non-violent offenders.


  65. Yes it is true the prisoners in bigg muddy is without air and over populated when I last drove 2 -3 hours machine for food has been broke so can not purchase food someone should look into this with temp. Being so hot no human or animal should be in it. Also when is it right to have The officers to call names and make animal sounds this is not safe at all


    • MRS.Hill says:

      My husband is also in Big Muddy River! I do agree with you completely. one officer told my husband tht next time we left trash on the table tht he wouldnt let him hold his child ! called him an asshole and has mad also im sure a few more remarks to him just because they have some pepper spray and a tazer gun dont make them any better than he is ! I dont under stand why they feel they have the right to try and start shit with him or anyone for tht matter and maKe their lives worse than is already is, why not just let them do their time and go home ! also when i and my kids went the officers were very rude all but 1 or 2 the lady tht serches u before you go in was so lazy tht she didnt want to search my bag and said alot of my things were unnessary to have ! “mind u i have tWo kids one is 3 the other 3 mon and yes all things i had was nessassary anyone with kids would know tht more is better ! the vending machines low close to empty the whole time we were there 4 hours and the guard was rude as hell wen we were asked to leave cause of over crowding of the visitng room he waived good bye to my husbanD with a sarcastic look on his face in a rude way !they have no respect for anyone there not even visitors and there had been numerous of time when my husbanD, told me tht is was scorching hott in tht place threw out the summer. If they tell you on the weather channel to put you animals and kids n the house and dnt stay in the heat too long why in the hell would you make a person in prison it in a cell with no air on a day tht the heat is 104 and in the cell feel like 200 ! makes no damn since to me but you know this is make up county so they will do anything to ya just to get paid nothing is the whole prison sene is fair and or healthy ! LET MY HUSBAND GO ! WENT ON A DIRTY DROP OFF OF PAROLE AND GT 3 YEARS SENTANCE WAS ALSO WAY TO LONG OF A SENTANCE FOR A CRIME THT WAS POINTLESS TO PUSE! REALLY A NON SENCE REASON TO SEND SOME ONE BK THIS IS ONE REASON THT IS EXACTLY WHY PRISONS ARE OVER CROWDED AND UNSAFE I SAY PUT THOES PPL OF THE LAW IN THE PRISON AND SEE HOW THEY LIKE IT !


  66. Laura Eichstaedt says:

    my son is in Vandalia correctional. His crime was not violent and at his court date we did ask for house arrest and was denied. He has been there since the middle of July. He was informed that his name was on a list sent from Springfield for a house arrest release and are awaiting the answer. For non violent offenders I do believe house arrest is the answer. Maybe the law makers should get with the judges on keeping the prison population down. I really hope this goes through and think it’s a good idea so he can return to his job and be a productive member of society. Do I think he learned a valuable lesson being sent to prison? Yes I really do!


    • Just Me says:

      My husband is in Vandalia also. He has told me of this. He is also a non violent offender, but he was denied for the home monitoring because of the medication he takes. He has told me though, that the men who did qualify and who were approved are still sitting and waiting to go home. Is this happening to your son as well? When my husband first told me of the home monoriting being given out, but him being denied, I was sure hoping the sentencing credits were soon to follow. Although I have gotten a letter from Vandalia I had to answer if it was ok for him to parole here and several other questions, signed and sent back and I also called and verified with the field office there in Vandalia like it said I could on the form, but this was a few months ago now, and still nothing.


      • Laura Eichstaedt says:

        the reason my son was denied house arrest was that he violated his probation he was on. I have tried calling to find out about the “good time” but nobody and I mean nobody in springfield has an answer. I beleive it was just a big ploy to get people off his (Quinn) back about the budget. My feeling about the IDOC and our “justice system” is one of utter disgust.


  67. Thomas Wilk says:

    I was incarcerated during this, “M.G.T./ Sentence Credit” being in limbo period.
    I served a sentence in I.D.O.C. from 4/15/2010 to 10/15/2010.
    I pled guilty to a class 2 felony of “leaving the scene of a accident” ;(In which I took my exgirlfriends little brother to the nearest hopital), but I didn’t report it within 1/2 hour of the accident.
    I served 18 months on a three year sentence. I was denided ( transfer to an A.T.C.) work release! I was approved to be transfered to Taylorville,( a low level security institution for non violent/ non affilated inmates. But was never moved.
    I attened Promise Keepers my entire incarceration @ Logan C.C.!
    I was baptized @ Logan C.C. on 02/06/2011.
    I completed “Life Style Redirection” re-entry program for which I was awarded a certificate.
    I obtained a passing grade in a college course to obtain a State Food & Sanintation License.
    I obtained 4 college credits for Career Tech. (The first of it’s kind in the State), which I passed.
    I worked as a porter 5 days a week for $5 a month.
    I tried to enroll in and was denined substace abuse treatment! Due to the fact I supposabley didn’t have enough time to complete the program, due to the waiting list and my short sentence!
    I recived no penalties for minor or major infractions during my incarceration.
    I succsessfully completed substance abuse treatment on my own accord while serving 24 months M.S.R.; of which I have 14 months left today.
    After enquiring about every service supposabley avaliable through “Sumitt of Hope”
    ,and applying @ every temporary sevice around; and several other companies,
    I started my own small business.
    I am enrolled in college, (for a 3rd semester) working toward my Associties of Arts.
    My question is am I to be alotted anything for this effort or not?


    • Laura says:

      No, Thomas, you will not get any sentence credits for what happened in the past. Sentence credits will only be given to those still in prison whenever they start handing them out. Those who served time during the past couple of years and left will not get anything applied retroactively. That is why the absence of MGT ended up harming short-timers versus those with long sentences.


  68. Stephanie C says:

    Hi i need some advise myboyfriend he’s been locked up for 5 months and still hasent been sentences because they had a muder case. That man that killed his wife and 3 kids. But now they found they muder guilty so now my boyfriend asked for a bond lower and they said no idk why cause he had cases like in 2008 but never did nothing else so he is charged w poss. and firearm but my boyfriend never shot no gun and when they raid it his house his daddy said it was his and they found the gun n his daddy room and his daddy forgot it was in there its been there for years and he has people n the neighborhood says hes a very good person and he nevea hurted nobody even older people said hes a nice man. I been 2 jail shit people need a chance n i havent seen no jail for 2 years almost 3 yrs and i work and go 2 school and he wants 2 do that 2 but his lawyer is playing games and HIS DADDY TOLD THE COPS 2 GET RID OF IT but he still getting charged and his courtdate is Oct 15,2012 so i need some legal advice PLEASE HELP US PLEASE! Thank You and God Bless


  69. nicole says:

    What do the November elections have to do with the early release program? Just wondering


  70. Marg says:

    Thanks for nothing Mr. Quinn–My daughter and granddaughter are now fearing for their lives again!! Keep those you know did the crime in prison–


    • nicole says:

      If there violent offenders they won’t get good time. Thank God its back, now my husband can be with his family sooner than expected


  71. Brittany says:

    Does anyone know if it is in effect in IDOC yet or if there is a for sure date? I know around elections, but really? I need the father of my 9 mo. old daughter to get home and be with his family again. He has many health problems and I worry about him being in those places.


    • Laura Eichstaedt says:

      so no it is not in effect in the prisions and probably wont be for another year


      • nicole says:

        Idoc has already written the new rules. Jcar is currently reviewing them and should be ready in a couple months not a year. These things take time. It’s not a ploy. The bill was signed in june. You can I follow all this on numerous websites I too am waiting on good time. U guts should do your research before commenting


      • Brittany says:

        Thank you Nicole.


  72. Laura Eichstaedt says:

    I did my homework thank you. I got my information straight from the govenor’s office. Also this is America freedom of speech hunny anyone can say anything


  73. so is the early realease program going to start does anyone know.thank you


  74. bobbi says:

    does anyone know when good tome will be and where would you look for it or the article on the computer i would like to know and read up on it because where i was looking was nothing there


  75. Ron says:

    the day is getting close for our loved ones will be with us for me been over a year and half


  76. Nina says:

    Does anyone know about a list of Inmates, who are elgiable for good time??? My fiance hears all kinds of stuff from people!


  77. Kesha says:

    I don’t think their going to implement it. The state is collecting money for the inmates.


  78. Kesha says:

    They have all these inmates hyped up like their getting out early. The state is so full of it. Our budget deficit could be taken care of if the accused offenders were released early or paid a fine for house arrest.


  79. Donna wolf says:

    I have been trying to find out about early release too my son was selling drugs and got 8 years it was his first offence and no crimmnal background and people all around him are getting early release or work release and he hasn’t gotten anything on at least trying to get in work program he has since received his ged went to drug classes is working and been going to school and no trouble since he been in custody to me he got as much time as a murderer thats crazy and I have been trying to get that sr 109 list too please help


  80. Nancy Watkins says:

    I have a son at Logan and his gf went to see him. After being there for a hour she needed to use the restroom and they told her no. If she had to go they would terminate her visit cause she would have to go back out to the front gate. When she asked why they said cause the roof was falling in where the womans restroom is and it was unsafe. They had closed one side of the visiting rooms cause of this. After arguing with them for a another hour they finally let her use the mens. She drove 3 hours to see him and there gonna terminate her visit cause she has to use the restroom. I think thats pretty pathetic. I hate when the guards treat us (visitors) as we are a inmate to. They forget who pays there wages. We the taxpayers do. And they are lazy!


    • Kim says:

      The governor is full of bs, now it might be October 2013 before early release, im thinking about starting a petition for people not to vote for him


  81. nicoleb says:

    Jcar had a meeting today for good time!!!!!!! And I’m sure it was approved. If u guys did ur homework u would know that. is s great website for all good time info. If approved today inmates will be released soon. I’ve been following this on jcar for months. It has nothing to do with money. The bill was already signed!!!!!!!


    • elmost says:

      IL prisontalk is good for a lotta stuff about idoc, but this site has told more true about early release. It is not money but political bec if Quinn had the balls he would have just put early release to start again and not drug us along all this time. Thing about ILPT is they only want to hear the party line. Say different, even if true, & they ban you from the site. I tried telling them not to tell everyone to back the legislation harder for our guys & they banned me. I come back later & see someone with sense inside ILPT finally stopped them. Yeah, & I’m still banned! Yeast this place open.


      • Candy says:

        Quinn dont care about these people in prison if he did it would have no took so damn long idoc does not even have enough food to feed everyone 3 meals a day this is America but the jails are so crowded you would think this was China. Quinn is the criminal IllihInois has went down hill since he has been in office


  82. Diane Eberly says:

    Why the hell is IDOC telling inmates they will start getting released in February if they will not be? This is outrageous to put them thru hell! By all this lying, the prisoners will start rioting. I don’t think it is right to give them false hope, especially for petty crimes like theft or drug abuse,


    • peeeeeeeaceful pee says:

      I no for sure that it has been a long road but theres gonna be seome very happy momments real soon just gotta keep praying GOD does for us wat we cant do for ourselves


      • Laura Eichstaedt says:

        I agree Diane my son was told as were many other inmates by their social worker that within a couple of weeks “good time early release” would be starting and that was at the end of January. Nobody there has been let out as of yet. The iodc should not tell the inmates these things because when it doesn’t happen they will have a lot of angry people. I hope that it is true but I am not going to get my hopes up. My son is getting out April 5th I hope it’s sooner but will not count on it.


      • Kim says:

        Hey everyone my son is at greene county work camp and he just called and yold me that good time is back and thy start givin it to ople with more than a year left on their sentence,he said they post it all around their hse


    • Kim says:

      My son wont be gettin the good time becuz he has least then two months they have start given it out to pple with a year or more everyone should call idoc and ask question I call everyday I was wishin he could cum hme sooner,,So yes good time is back


  83. latoya says:

    so if u have 15 months left to do … how much time will they knock off?


    • Kim says:

      Hey I want to say six month,mayb more if he to a trade or took the ged


      • Nancy Watkins says:

        Kim if your son has been locked up for at least 6 months or a year then he should get some goodtime. I believe i heard they have to serve at least 6 months or a year on their sentence. I believe its a year though. They are going through files to see who gets it as they say. I know they need to do something cause its gonna start riots if they dont. People are losing patients with all this talk. And I know i am tired of giving my money to IDOC cause of everything we get charged for. From sending money through Jpay, Western Union. Phone calls, Vending machines and cards. Such a rip off. Just whatever they can get in your pockets for. You send a money order and it takes them 6 to 8 weeks before its on there books. No disrespect but makes me wonder who is the thief..Just sayin!


      • Kim says:

        my son has been there for fiftern month he as given three yrs I talked to his councler she said he wont be gettin good time he is in a computer class he will finish next week he has forty eight days lefthe saif they reviewed him and his porole was approved,,,,,


      • Kim says:

        New rule u hav to sever 61before you can get the for first time offendernon violent offenderit like three diffen good time available


  84. Nancy Watkins says:

    I wish you and your son the best of luck when he comes home. I have a son also that is locked up. His out date is September of this year. And i pray he gets his life together and doesnt go back.


  85. deisal says:

    is there a list of the inmates getting good time if so whats the site


    • Candy H. says:

      my 16 year old son has been in the hands of the IDOC since august of 2011 for a aggrevated DUI where the passenger was killed (18 yrs old). The deceased bought computer duster and shared with my son whom was driving and lost concoiuos on the drive home. My son had no idea of the effects of this “new Fad” of huffing. but went along (pier pressure). the judge thought it would be better to send him to prison for 3 years instead of going to schools,churches.etc to tell his story so that it doesn’t happen to another young nieve person. The father of the deseased boy wanted to join my son in this crusade. but again lets just lock him up instead. We have summitted a request to lower his sentence back last year and have only heard that they received and all was in order. Nothing since. shortly after my son was sentenced there was another accident just like my son’s. EXACTLY like his only 4 young teenage boys were killed ages 14 -18 and at least another one just like the 2 before. i beg that my son will be able to come home early. he didn’t have record of any kind until this accident and is a good kid i mean man he is now 19 years old and will be 20 when he comes home.


  86. Danielle says:

    Well, my fiance has been in since aug 2011, & he has til March 5th 2015, so do you think he would get to come home early, his in minmum, hes been doing what he is suppose to, but he had told me that his case worker told him he could not work his time past 44 months, he told me he has 20 days credit they want let him put it toward his time to come home, so i kinda confused with all this, i just know i what him home. this does include NC right?


  87. Juanita Ortiz says:

    Juanita asked ….

    My son has been in jail for 21/2 years and has been doing very good. He has accomplished few goals while being in prison, such as getting his GED and gone as far as taking a few college courses. in fact he has even work n various departments the center( prison). his information was submitted for review for early release about a month ago and he is still waiting for a reply. Can you e-mail me and tell me how long does it take to get a reply?


  88. shauna says:

    what are the qualifications for good time?


  89. I was incarcerated in 2001 for a crime i did not commit. i was involved with a psycho who has a pattern of domestics on all her boyfriends. Her easy way to put someone away and party. i was already on probation for a DUI. I received a petition to revoke my probation. So she thinks i am coming home after a couple of months.Different story. She even tried to testify. No trial. You go in front of a judge and they just have to find a burden of proof. Sentence was a year and a half. Well i was promised good time. At that time mgt was suspended for anyone with a domestic or order of protection on their record. Even though i was not convicted of the domestic they sentenced me on the petition.But, when i got to D.O.C, because i was charged with it i did not get my good time. Eventually it was re-instated. I had an accident and was put on painkillers. I ran out and borrowed a few from my friend. Less of a painkiller i was prescribed. I was caught with them. Two norecos. I am from a hanging county. LaSalle County. Never pass through. The most crooked county you will find. Granted I am no angel. My lawyer contested that it was not heroin or cocaine, I never had a drug conviction and I should receive probation. I got 2 and a half. No good time again. I looked into this issue and even had a mandamus drawn up against Godinez. Did anyone ever to bother looking up the govenors powers. He only has executive powers and has the right to grant time i.e clemency,but does not have the power to take it away. Furthermore, only at the discretion of the director is mgt to be given or taken away. I was transferred and never got to send out the mandamus. Govenor Quinn never had the right to pull mgt. There should be a class action lawsuit.


  90. Kelli Jackson says:

    Dear Gov. Pat Quinn, Will you please direct more funding to Winnebago County for the Deferred Prosecution Program and Diversion Program. This will reduce the current heavy load in the court system. These programs are for first time offenders that are non violent crimes.


  91. Lisa. McDaniel says:

    I am for sentencing reform and I think it should apply to state and federal facilities . I also believe that murder should not be mixed with others. My husband was stabbed in the eye@ eye bled for two weeks while waiting trial. He is a low security level one awaiting PCR hearing. I have traumatic head injury where lady hit me going 65 mph in auto accident and need my husband home he’s the only caregiver. Fourth fifth sixth seventh eighth amendments broken and illegal tracking device put on our vehicles breaking inside my trunk to install device on private property. Nurse practitioner had my husband moved to a level III facility and he is a level 1 low security . While there a murderer With life sentences attack my husband so I had captain of my husband and protective custody. I didn’t hear from a husband for two weeks.My husband tell me they held him in a room and for six days they denied him shower or to use the bathroom. My husband has kidney problems and his mother and his mother sister died of kidney disease. Because my husband being my only caregiver I need him home and we should qualify for compassionate release. So I believe the sentencing reform should be for state as well as federal facilities.


  92. misty says:

    Il doc is ridiculous and half the guards,nurses and doctors should be locked up my husband is bipolar randomly gets meds and went without sheets jacket socks and had dirty clothes on for three weeks. Finally got sheets and clean jumpsuit after I called which got him thrown in the hole. He’s in for driving on revoked no drugs or alcohol in system had a headlight out and he got pulled. I’m not saying that’s ok but there are murders, rapist, and child molesters out there who we need to make sure prisons have room for. Oh wait prisons are not hard on real crimea forget its the non violent petty offenders we want to teach a lesson. Statesville corrections and I’m sure others are deplorable and I don’t understand why guards and secretaries even nurses are so rude. They must not realize with the economic crisis without inmates they wouldn’t have a job. We wouldn’t need all the extra not to mention useless doctors and nurses or the guards and secretaries with the attitudes these have are not wanted. I can say useless doctors because my husband went in with letters from his doctor and was told as well as a cancer patient going through remission that they didn’t need certain meds. Which leads me to believe wen people were buying CDLs they must have got there doctors degree also. To everyone with loved ones once your loved ones out and clear write to the papers and have others write keep writing otherwise no ones knows or cares. They may be inmates but there not animals.


    • Nicki says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more Misty. My husband is surrounded by child molesters & rapists @ Big Muddy River. Before there, he was at Vandalia which is also a joke. These places are beyond out of control. They are so rude to me, to the inmates, which i’ve witnessed to my own husband. I could not believe the way the treated him and me. He’s been in prison since last February. It will almost be an entire year for retail theft, that he didn’t even commit. I think he has served more than enough time. I call there and they are beyond rude it’s not even funny. Wow, yeah they better remember that my husband and yours is the reason they still have jobs in this shitty economy. What happened to their good time???? I keep calling and nothing is being done and none of my (our) questions are answered. This is beyond bullshit, these people should be behind bars if you ask me. I’m sorry for being so rude but anger is getting the best of me. Despite my anger, I will not give up. I just hope to god that these over populated prisons have enough room for the truly violent inmates and stop keeping inmates locked up for non-violent crimes. If you paid your dues, and beyond like my husband, please award him his good time that you PROMISED. I know, because he’s in “prison” no one cares, but i’m not in prison and I swear I feel like i’m locked in a cell just as he is.. but my cell is so far away from his. ALL THE PRISONERS THAT HAVE WIVES, LOVED ONES, FRIENDS, CHILDREN… AND ARE THERE FOR THEM DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO STAY POSITIVE AND GET THEM HOME… DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT I WOULD EVEN BE SITTING HERE WRITING THIS IF MY HUSBAND WASN’T THE MOST AMAZING HUMAN I’VE EVER MET? NO, I WOULD NOT. I NEED HELP.. AND NO ONE IS HELPING ME… NO ONE KNOWS WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH BESIDES THE OTHER PEOPLE ON THESE WEBSITES THAT CAN SYMPATHIZE WITH ME… 😦


      • lisa0212 says:

        I agree my husband is a great person and no threat to no one. He is my only caregiver and I have truamatic head injury were lady hit me in auto accident. Compassionate Release should apply to us and should apply for state also not just federal. Also sentencing reform should apply for state as well as federal prisons. I constantly worry about my husband and now since no where to put him they put him in a condemned room and with black mold which is hazardous to health . Everyone for sentencing reform needs to let congress know their concerns and that it should apply also to state prisoners to be released the ones not a threat to society. Call this number to let them know you are for sentencing reform and that it should apply to state prisoners also…202-224-3121 the more you call the better chance to get done


  93. I heard there was suppose to be a early release release program for prisoners with anyone with 85%orless yrs. to serve. it was suppose to go in in effect January 2014. an it was for class x an others to did anyone else here about this to.please help me my daughter has been in there there for something her husband did an id love to see her before I set so sick I cant. I have restrictive lung deseseas an no cure an was just told yestesterday I was tested an it came back I have deminitia. an my dr. took my licence away what else help me help her come home. thank you.


    • lisa0212 says:

      This is great news if they will let all go who are not a threat to no one I need my husband home. Look up on Judge Michael Baxleys ruling I consider him a Hero. Or just google judge Baxleys ruling in SC courts towards SCDC. All news papers editors are talking about this 45 page ruling. But the videos are very sad how they mistreat inmates who need medical attention or help. Judge baxley said reform needs to happen. It needs to soon it would save a lot.

      Sent from my iPhone



  94. vicky says:

    When will good time come back they need it and you said it .so do it


  95. Brenda says:

    My brother is currently in Vandalia for driving without a license (wrong but not violent so I just don’t get it) he spent a month in Statesville then they transferred him to Vandalia. The stories he tells me about this place are horrific, the conditions they have these prisoner in are inhumane, sad and plain out WRONG!!!.. my brother is not a violent person he is a great human being with a giant heart he made a mistake but he should not have to be eating cold food filled with hair, share 2 toilets with 30 other inmates in an extremely over crowed dorm room that looks like no more then 10 people max should be in. My brother should get good time he shouldn’t be suffering and living in these condition, he’s trying to participate in programs, school, work anything but they won’t let him due to over crowding there is a waiting list that they told him chances are he will be on it for almost the full amount of his sentence before he gets his turn, NOT FARE!! on their website they have all of these programs inmates can take advantage of but what they don’t say is that they are all closed due to funding and the few lucky ones that are doing something have been on a waiting list for a very very very long time.. . This is what Pat Quinn did because of his own fuck ups he is making our loved ones suffer and live like they are animals (I don’t think even animals should live in those conditions). If you are a murder, rapist, violent person keep those people in jail but people like my brother should be released GIVE THEM THEIR GOOD TIME!!!!!!!!! it is beyond frustrating that this is happening release him on house arrest, probation, work release anything just get him out of Vandalia he is one of those paying for the governments screw ups!! my heart goes out to all of you that are going thru what my family and I are it is heart breaking. They need to bring back Good Time and just monitor it closely and stop being lazy and selfish. I wish there was something more I can do but I feel like my hands are tied 😦


  96. Angela says:

    I have never seen so much unjustice as what I have seen in the much, if not more that what these inmates have committed. It is truly sad-what these correctional officers and state officials working at these facilities believe is the right way to treat another human being, not to mention the way they treat their families! My husband is in for a nonviolent crime-I helped put him there for his own good and it was the best thing we did for him, but had I known he would be treated the way he has been, I am not sure I would have made that decision. And we also were told at sentencing, by our PAID attorney, he would receive good time, that was a bald face lie. He has been there for every day of his sentence-has 9 weeks left. I have been given the run around by every office I have contacted, with no answers answered! The State of Illinois is pitiful! I sure hope their family has to go through the same situation one day!


  97. Dale Warren says:

    Having been an inmate in the Illinois dept of corrections in four of their over populated facilities I can tell you first hand that the counselors were not counseling anyone.An inmate hoping to be put in for good time or early release will quickly realize the hopelessness of those requests.The counselor is NOT your greatest asset like they tell inmates at orientation.The counselor is actually the biggest hurdle an inmate has to overcome. The greivence procedure is equally worthless. If a greivence is even acknoledged it takes about six months to get through IDOCs process and by then if an inmate trys to seek redress through the courts the attorney generals office represents IDOC employees with the LACHES defense. This means the inmate took to long to file in court. Its all fixed before the fight even starts. The only response I could count on from a counselor was”I dont know” Most counselors were guards who didnt want to wear a uniform to work, so they take a class or two and they can wear their own clothes and sit in the air conditioned office.Most counselors would bump into us once every 60 days and call it there face to face meeting. Check the inmate off the list and see you in 60 days if you even had the same counselor 60 days later.Often times a counselor is assigned to a particular housing unit and inmates get shuffeld around for Jobs, education or behavior .The counselors also rotate around after enough inmates in a unit start to express a dislike for the lies and” oops forgot to file that ask me next month” IDOC wont even entertain a transfer to a prison closer to friends or family due to medical hardship..The law states inmates should be able to serve the sentence imposed with DIGNITY and have visits, access to legal material etc.I was denied all that and more,especially when on writs back to court.No commissary ,1 call for 10 minutes just once per week at a time determined by corrections officer that works that day. Your family isnt home during those 10 minutes then your call is over for the week.One shower per week and no laundry.I was on A grade with no restrictions all 8 times this happend to me over a 4 year period at Stateville NRC.The 8to10 hour bus ride all the way up and down the state was horrible too.16 times in my 8 round trips and even with an on going case in Joliet I was housed at Vienna. The furthest prison from Rockford where everyone in my family lives.Not one visit in 41/2 years because the 16 hour round trip drive was more than my mother could endure during here chemo treatments for breast cancer. Irequested and greived all of it to no avail all of those years.IDOC is run by an “Administation” that administers punishment and neglect,NOT rehabilitation and justice.


  98. Dorothy Brice says:

    My name is Dorothy, and my son has been and inmate of the IDOC SINCE 2011, MILD DRUG CHARGES. RECEIVED 14 YEARS, have to complete 7 yeas before his release. during those years away from his family, he has been attacked in by orange crush guards at a med. facility Jacksonville cc very poor care from doctors there for his injuries. he is now full blow with high cholesterol and high blood pressure die to the high sodium intake in all meals. he cant get the dr. to give him adequate meds. or a wrist/support for control of the edema in his dominant left elbow/ and he cant fully extend the arm. how his fingers lock into a trigger like state.,the past 90 days he was transferred to Vienna cc he immediately described to very very ,very poor conditions he and other inmates has to in daily just this past week May 5th I received a call from my son and he was devastated that beneath in cell room bed nothing but MOLD every where it was clong to the floor wall his mattress his sheets and blanket. when he discovered this situation. he immediately filed a petition to be moved or have the room cleaned. he has been an model inmate sine coming into idoc. our family help 100% in every way possible. however, since reporting the mold in his room he has received 2 ticket for basically for nothing .My son R29483 just want to do his time stay out of trouble / never ever want to return back there ,I truly know my real son and I know he has learned his lesson. I never knew people could be treated so bad until my son ended up here. I am asking for prayers for my son and that IDOC clean up this mess cause I feel lots of other sons will be sick or die early from care and follow up care know of an Attorney who can help me with my complaints contact me at 773-704-7330


  99. Lisa says:

    My husband has served 17 years of a 23 year when he was give 22 years and on top of that shorty after he was was sent to prison his attorney was arrested for taking and selling crack cocaine the still cant tell me why he was given 23 years when he took a plea bargain and why he was sentenced so severe for attempted murder due to drugs and and drinking no other crimes other the misdemeanor when he was a kid when other murders got 10 years the judge said he wanted to make an example out of him so tell me where is the justice in that hes has served 85% of his sentence please give me and answser he dose not want to retry his class in fear of getting 30 to 60 year when he tried to fight the extra year they added they told him he could not because it was to long to change. His attorney was Heldabran who was disbared and went on to teach ? How was this even possible and why was his convictions and others not looked in to due to a attorney who was not fully able to give a fare trial in the first place.


    • alizabeth says:

      I am dealing with a similar case such as your, they system is so messed up. They locked those up for selling drugs, not leaving room for those that are violent, still out here on the streets killing people raping little kids. They give them a couple of years and let them right back out her to hurt someone else, they don’t know how to make an example. Those violent offender are the ones that need to be locked away for good so that can’t hurt anyone, let them hurt one another.


  100. Nichol Fricks says:

    Please keep me updated on this matter. Thank you


  101. Odessa says:

    My son as been incarcerated since 2001, charged with attempted 1st degree murder , attempted kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and various other charges, the Judge wanted to add an additional charge of robbery, because the person involved purse was missing from the scene, he has never been incarcerated before, he was given 20 years, he could not appeal because the way the prosecuting attorney put the charges in if he were to fight this, his charges could have been reversed to serve them consecutively, which means he would have had to serve over 60 years, he was suppose to serve 85% of his time, but in Illinois if you serve 85%, once released you are still on parole for the remaining years, so in actually you are serving 100% of your time.
    Why is it that there are few to no programs within the correctional facilities to give the inmates a fighting chance once released from prison, when my son was originally incarcerated he was locked up 22 hours a day, how inhumane is that. The food they are being served is primarily soy products which is detrimental to their health…..
    Lastly the this overcrowded situation can be somewhat remedied, if the correctional facility would either bring back good time, or better yet, bring back evaluating prisoners before a parole board.
    This has become a money making operation the losers are the Inmates and their families!!!!!!


  102. yaneli martinz says:

    I will like to know if any good time will be approved in 2016..


  103. Connie says:

    Mu son is in East Moline Correctional he received 2 yrs for possession. He keeps requesting good time with no answers. There is asbestos and black mold in some of the buildings. He told us about it on the phone and since then has received a ticket? Kind of suspicious? I truly believe more needs to be done to help those in our system. It is nothing more than cruel how most people who are incarcerated are treated. There are many good people trying to change things but when the institutes know when they are being visited ahead of time there are things that can be hidden from the different committees who visit .


  104. Cathy Cox says:

    Why is so many rumors going on about early release of non violent inmates? Is it going to happen or not? I hate seeing so many inmates and their families getting their hopes raised and nothing happening! Please, let us know if it is true or false and if true, when it is expected to happen? Thank-You!


  105. Melodee says:

    My son is in Graham R & C, he was convicted of aggravated DUI, the person he hit was injured, however, did not lose life or limb, thank goodness. My son was only 20 and never even had a speeding ticket. Had never been in trouble with the law at all. He received 2 years, with all but 16 months suspended. He was told if he appealed they’d go for the maximum of 12 years. He was in Madison County IL. I’m beside myself and don’t know what to do. I’m in VA and am not near him. He’s just a kid and wasn’t even old enough to drink. The person that gave him the alcohol wasn’t charged. We need help, I want him home.


  106. […] IDOC Inmate Early Release & Agency Reform (Page Updated March 14, 2020) […]


  107. […] IDOC Inmate Early Release & Agency Reform (Page Updated March 15, 2020) […]


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