Goal of reducing State Budget Growth While Maintaining Security For Illinois Residents And Families

         One of the underlying causes of Illinois’ mushrooming budget is the cost of guarding tens of thousands of Illinois’ criminals, including many nonviolent criminals, in State prisons, county jails, and county detention centers.  State prisons alone are holding inmates at 150 percent of design capacity.  The Illinois Department of Corrections budget is $1.3 billion/year paid by taxpayers, with additional hundreds of millions spent by county sheriffs to maintain jails for low-level felons and misdemeanants. 

On Wednesday, Governor Rauner unveiled a commission to look at sentencing policies in Illinois (http://wuis.org/post/rauner-convenes-another-task-force-sentencing). The task force will have the full participation of Illinois’ law enforcement community, which is interested in studying the Code of Corrections (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1999&ChapterID=55) to see how to lower the number of inmate while ensuring the safety to the public.  The new Task Force has been asked to report its findings to the Governor and General Assembly by December 31, 2015.