SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 15-14 today, which establishes the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform.
The commission will examine the current criminal justice system and sentencing structure to develop comprehensive and evidence-based strategies to improve public safety. It will analyze all aspects of the current system from the initial arrest to re-entry into the community. Some areas the commission will specifically examine are ensuring there is uniformity in sentencing structure, sentencing practices, community supervision and the use of alternatives to prison.
“Illinois is in desperate need of criminal justice reform. Our prisons are overcapacity and too many offenders are returning to prison,” Gov. Rauner said. “We need to take a comprehensive, holistic approach to our justice system.”
The Department of Corrections (DOC) is operating at more than 150 percent of the inmates it was designed to house, which threatens the safety of inmates and staff. It also undermines the DOC’s ability to rehabilitate. Many of those inmates often return to prison; the recidivism rate in Illinois hovers around 50 percent.