Prison Population of Illinois

As of December 2018, the Illinois prison population is comprised of approximately 40,000 adults and 260 juveniles. 

Historically, Illinois has had a costly overreliance on prison which has grown exponentially in the last four decades from 6,000 inmates in 1974 to where we are today. This has created a situation of severe overcrowding, for today's prison system was designed to hold only 32,000 inmates.  

Data sources: IDOC, IDJJ, Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice & Sentencing Reform. All figures rounded.  

In 2015, Governor Bruce Rauner issued Executive Order 14, which established the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. This body has the goal of reducing the State’s current prison population by 25% by 2025. This Executive Order was issued in part due to the work of the John Howard Association, which is named specifically in the order as a reason (amongst others) for its creation: "WHEREAS, the John Howard Association and other outside entities have demonstrated that the Department of Corrections is experiencing severe overcrowding, which threatens the safety of inmates and staff and undermines the Department’s rehabilitative efforts."