New Mandates on IDOC Data Collection and Reporting
JHA led the legislative effort to pass a new law which requires the Illinois Department of Corrections to collect and publicly report critical data about incidents of violence within its facilities.
JHA led the legislative effort to pass a new law which requires the Illinois Department of Corrections to collect and publicly report critical data about incidents of violence within its facilities, as well as participation in educational and vocational programs both within facilities and as part of supervised release. The data must be reported by each individual facility and then aggregated on a quarterly basis, greatly increasing transparency about safety within Illinois correctional facilities individually and systemically, and improving JHA efforts to monitor conditions and fight for meaningful reforms.
The reporting covers incidents of violence against both prisoners and staff. Assaults, fights, and sexual assault; possession and/or use of weapons or dangerous contraband; correctional staff use of physical force; forced cell extraction; use of pepper spray, gas, or other control implements; suicides and attempts; requests and placements in protective custody; and data on average length of stay in segregation, secured housing, and restrictive housing must all be reported.
The law further requires IDOC to track and report committed persons in custody who have completed educational, vocational, chemical dependency, sex offender treatment, or cognitive behavioral therapy programs.
And IDOC must report data about committed persons who are being held in custody past their mandatory statutory release date and the reasons for their continued confinement; as well as the average daily population and vacancy rate of each Adult Transition Center and work camp.
Finally, the law specifically requires that IDOC staff, including the Director down to line staff, review the information to identify trends and develop action plans to address and mitigate the root causes of violence including implementing a wide range of strategies to incentivize good conduct.
Institutional safety is fundamental and cannot be assessed without reliable information. Prior to this law, a lot of basic information about what is happening inside our correctional facilities, both good and bad, has not been readily available. The regular collection and reporting of meaningful data will help us to monitor trends in confinement conditions and raise issues to the highest level at IDOC.