The governor’s effort to reduce the state’s prison population is under way. It’s a 28-member commission composed of lawmakers, legal experts, professors, law enforcement personal and advocates for sentencing reform. Their goal is to propose policies or legislation that will drop the prison population by 25 percent over 10 years, and Gov. Bruce Rauner is urging them to be innovative.
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“We can start fresh. We can think outside the box. We can actually use data and real information, look at what other communities around America do, and around the world, take the best ideas and customize ‘em and make ‘em better here, and come up with our own ways of looking at this challenge,” he said.
Rauner says prison overcrowding is a tragedy, and it’s costly too.
The Illinois Department of Corrections imprisons 48,277 adults in a system that’s designed to hold 33,000. Furthermore, the Illinois prison population has swelled 700 percent over the past 40 years, though crime has fallen 20 percent.