A committee looking to improve Illinois’ criminal justice system meets for the first time.  Those who spoke at the first meeting of the House Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee in Chicago emphasized that there’s no easy solution to reducing the prison population while remaining tough on violent offenders.  Kathy Saltmarsh, executive director of the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council warned that there also aren’t any quick solutions.
 
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“It’s gonna take time, unfortunately,” Saltmarsh said.  “You’ve got 49,000 people in (the Illinois Department of Corrections) and you can’t stop feeding them.  So you have to look at a continuum of several years to realize the benefits of the changes you might make.”  The committee is expected to give its recommendations by the end of the year. 
 
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