• IDOC: state would need new prison with tougher gun laws

    by  • October 8, 2013 • News

    Legislation cracking down on Illinois gun crime could add to the state’s prison crowding and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. prison-bars-thumb23796959

    The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports a proposal backed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel could add nearly 3,900 inmates to the prison system.

    The measure would increase minimum sentences.

    Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says the state would need at least one new prison. He adds that the extra inmates would mean an additional $700 million in operations costs.

    This is in a state that has recently closed prisons and sold one new, unused prison to the federal government.

    Rikeesha Phelon is a spokeswoman for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton. She says he’s concerned about violent crime, but is evaluating the measure that’s being sponsored by State Rep. Mike Zalewski.

    She says the state isn’t at a point where “additional costs can be overlooked.”