This is the Sentencing Policy Advisory Council's (SPAC) second Results First report, a tool for Illinois policymakers. This report helps policymakers answer the basic but critical question: do program benefits outweigh the costs? We examine nine programs that are currently in operation in our state and rank the results by maximum net benefits, maximum benefit-cost ratio, and least risky. The results allow policymakers to make apples-to-apples comparisons of these programs and see how to prioritize the results, depending on their goals. The results demonstrate that targeted, evidence-based programs can be a financially wise investment that improve outcomes for taxpayers and the public generally, so long as the programs are implemented well.
The Sentencing Policy Advisory Council (SPAC) invites you to experiment with the worksheet (Length of Stay Impact Calculator) below to see how the Illinois Department of Corrections' prison population responds to reductions in lengths of stay. The policy levers available here are: changing truth-in-sentencing (good-time credit) policies, adjusting the allowable range of sentences for felony classes, and changing the availability of extended terms. The worksheet also displays estimated fiscal impacts to show the order of magnitude of these types of sentencing policy changes. Click on the worksheet below to download the Excel file and then click on Tab 1 to begin.
To illustrate how different offense classes consume resources, SPAC analyzed the data for the average number of exits in each class for 2011, 2012 and 2013.
IDOC Admissions, Exits, and Population Pie Charts highlights data from State Fiscal Year 2015 and June 30, 2015 Admissions data.
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 NIJ.
Who is the average inmate coming out of state prison? What crime did he or she commit? How long did he or she spend in the system? What was his or her experience? To begin answering these questions, SPAC analyzed state prison releases to create an average “profile” using the most often occurring characteristics, as well as average and median lengths of stay.