Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chicago Criminal lawyer comments on spin control on early prison release

This Chicago criminal lawyer has posted here and here about Illinois sentencing. Now comes word of a new committee to review meritorious good time.

Governor Pat Quinn today named legal and criminal justice expert Judge David A. Erickson to lead a comprehensive review of the Department of Correction’s Meritorious Good Time program. Governor Quinn recently suspended that program while it undergoes a comprehensive evaluation.
Judge Erickson will review every aspect of the Department of Correction’s Meritorious Good Time program and present a report to the Governor with deliberate speed. The review’s goals include, creating policies and procedures that make sure the program’s first concern is always public safety and maintaining the integrity of the criminal justice system and the courts’ sentencing of offenders.
Governor Quinn ordered the suspension of the Meritorious Good Time effort after some concerns regarding the program surfaced. Under Illinois law, the Department of Corrections can issue credit for meritorious good time served by inmates.
“My mandate to the Department of Corrections is that the public’s safety always comes first. A top-to-bottom review of this program will make sure that we never waver from this all-important goal,” said Governor Quinn.

The idea of good time is disturbing to the public although it is offered throughout many state's. It is a balance of the state's function to incarcerate individuals coupled with the reality that incarceration is economically expensive and that our prisons are filled with non-violent offenders.

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