• No end in sight for IDOC overcrowding

    by  • December 31, 2012 • News

    With closures of correctional facilities across the state, even more inmates are being crammed into an already overcrowded system and an inmate early release program likely won’t be relieving the situation any time soon.

    Despite being approved nearly 6 months ago by Gov. Pat Quinn, not one inmate has yet been released through a meritorious good time, or MGT, early release program.

    According to Illinois Department of Corrections Spokeswoman Stacey Solano, no date for implementation of the early release program has been set.

    MGT credit was suspended three years ago, after violent prisoners were released early under a secret early release program, some just weeks or days after their arrival in prison.

    Since that time, inmate population has skyrocketed, with nearly 50,000 inmates packed into facilities designed to hold only 32,000.

    IDOC officials have drawn up a proposed set of rules for the new measure and they rest with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) for approval.

    The committee has until October 2013 to implement the new guidelines – nearly 10 months after facility closures resulted in the loss of 1,400 beds in the system.