Statement on the Governor's Criminal Justice Commission Final Report
The John Howard Association commends the Governor’s Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform for their work on the final report which was issued today. The recommendations include important ways we can reduce the inmate population in Illinois, as well as increase the likelihood of reentry success as prisoners return home; however, there is much work to be done to concretize some of the reforms to ensure that they are implementable and impactful. Illinois must be prepared to devote some of the state’s scarce resources to improving prison programming, electronic monitoring capabilities, as well as creating and restoring certain community based correctional programs and services. Proposed changes to felony classifications and reconsidering circumstances surrounding certain crimes is not only reasonable and warranted, it will help reduce the prison population while diverting more people to community based services which we know to be a more productive and successful way to manage low level non violent inmates. Encouraging increased collaboration between the State and counties to limit the number of short term inmates draining IDOC resources and to share information benefits Illinois in terms of resource conservation as well as public safety. JHA hopes that Illinois legislators will move swiftly and decisively to draft and pass laws that will articulate statutory changes with specificity and put these needed and important reforms in place quickly.