Sentencing Policy Advisory Council: Sentence Reductions for Possession of Cannabis Analyses
Sentencing Policy Advisory Council: Sentence Modification Program for Prisoners Release for 55 Years Old and Served 25 or More Years Analysis
Sentencing Policy Advisory Council: Sentence Credit for Passing High School Equivalency Testing
For the first time this year SPAC is incorporating victimization costs into its analyses. The victimization costs utilized are from the seminal study by the National Institute of Justice. See, McCollister, K.E., French, M.T., and Fang, H., “The Cost of Crime to Society: New Crime-Specific Estimates for Policy and Program Evaluation,” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, April 2010, pp. 98-109. This study provides the best available estimates of victimization costs. These costs are also used in the Illinois Results First cost-benefit analysis model SPAC is implementing. The attached supplement details the SPAC methodology for calculating and applying these costs for specific crimes using Illinois data.
Using descriptive statistics to analyze trends gives a very broad picture of changes in crime and punishment over time. This analysis compares descriptive statistics with legislative actions that changed sentences for unlawful use of weapon offenses. More complex statistical analysis and hypothesis testing would be needed to establish causal relationships between policy actions and changes in crime, incarceration, or recidivism rates over time. In order to verify a causal relationship the study would have to control for a variety of key factors by examining data from economic, public health, education, and other sectors.
Over the past 22 years, the impact on Illinois’ prison admissions and population of those on Mandatory Supervised Release (MSR) returned to prison as technical violators or with new prison sentences has varied considerably.
Under Illinois' sentencing structure, the majority of those convicted of a felony can be sentenced to either supervision in the community under probation or a period of incarceration within Illinois’ prison system.
The length of time individuals serve in prison is affected by several factors, including changes in the legal classification of crimes and the sentences available for those crimes, pretrial detention practices, prosecutorial charging and plea decisions, judicial sentencing decisions, and policies and practices that impact the ability of correctional administrators to award good conduct and other sentencing credits.