The Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council
The Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council
Archived News and Analysis
Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council (SPAC) Regular Meeting: June 15, 2018
June 11, 2018

The Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council (SPAC) Regular Meeting as scheduled for Friday, June 15, 2018 of the Meeting Topic is:
“Misdemeanor Sentencing in Illinois”. The meeting will be held at the offices of the: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, 300 W.
Adams, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60606. The meeting will be at: 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (Lunch will be provided) Phone Conference Details: 888-494-4032; Passcode: 7205356689#

View the meeting agenda >>


HB 5061 - Limits Habitual Criminal Sentencing Penalty to 21 Years Old and Forcible Priors
HB 5532 - Removes Parole MSR Requirement for Non-Domestic Violence Class 4 Offenders
2018 Infographic: Prison Resource Consumption by Offense Class
Fiscal Impact Analyses
Dynamic Marginal Costs in Bill Fiscal Impact Analyses
Prison Population Projections
2018 Offender Profiles Updated
March 9, 2018

Sentencing policy is often driven by high-profile, extreme cases, but most of the offenders we incarcerate are not extreme cases. To focus the discussion on the “Average Joe,” SPAC created these snapshots of average offenders in several offense categories. Again, these snapshots have no predictive value. The snapshots are not meant to affect decisions in individual cases, nor are they descriptive of any one unique person. In each category, there are many people who fall outside the average profile. Nonetheless, the recurring themes in terms of race, age, educational attainment, and recidivism are important for understanding broad outcomes of our sentencing policies.

HB 3355 HA1 - Sentencing Reform
HB 2353 HA1 & SB 316 SA1 - Cannabis Regulation & Taxation
HB 2882 - Changes to Truth-In-Sentencing Good-Time Sentencing Credit Restrictions
HB 3337 & HB 3856 - Changes to Theft, Retail Theft, and Criminal Damage to Property
SB 1722 SA3 - Safe Neighborhoods Reform Act
Prison Population Projections
Dynamic Marginal Costs in Bill Fiscal Impact Analyses
HB 2515 HA1 & SB 2073 - Early Release Eligibility Pool Calculation
SB 2872 HFA2 - Changes to Probation Eligibility and Sentence Credits
Quantifying County Adult Criminal Justice Costs in Illinois
Illinois Results First: A Cost-Benefit Tool for Illinois Criminal Justice Policymakers
August 4, 2016

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.

View the Illinois Results First: A Cost-Benefit Tool for Illinois Criminal Justice Policymakers >>

Length of Stay Impact Calculator
August 4, 2016

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.

View the Length of Stay Impact Calculator >>

View the Length of Stay Impact Calculator Quick Explanation and Instructions >>

View the Length of Stay Impact Calculator Full Explanation and Instructions >>

HB 6595 - Changes to Penalties for Drug Crimes
SB 2295 - Justice Reinvestment Fund; Changes to the Criminal Code (Partial Analysis Due to Data Limitations)
HB 6193 - Sentence Enhancements for Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW) Offenses
HB 5666 - Revising Sentencing for Non-Violent Offenders with Less Than Four Months Stay
House Proposal - Changes to Truth-In-Sentencing Good-Time Sentencing Credit Restrictions
HB 4357 & SB 2228 - Sentence Reductions for Possession of Cannabis under 500 Grams
The Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council's First Cost Benefit Analysis Report on the High Cost of Recidivism
October 20, 2015

The Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council (SPAC) released the first cost benefit analysis report on the high cost of recidivism and the supplement that fully explains our methodology. SPAC adopted this model and requested technical assistance from the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative because the model has been tested and accepted in the legislative and budgeting processes in Washington State for over 15 years, it was free, and it came with a multi-disciplinary technical assistance team. Using this model allows us to apply the best national research to Illinois-specific crime data. More importantly, the model is the best tool to determine the efficient use of tax dollars to minimize the risk that crime will occur.

View the Illinois Results First: The High Cost of Recidivism Report

View the Illinois Results First: The High Cost of Recidivism Supplement Report

Senate Bill 1848 Elimination of Felony Sentence for Narcotic Violations under 1 Gram
House Bill 4123 Changes to Truth in Sentencing Restrictions
Five New Sentencing Policy Advisory Council Fiscal Impact Analysis Reports Available
Supplement: Victimization Costs in Bill Fiscal Impact Analyses
April 16, 2015

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.

Trends Analysis: Unlawful Use of a Weapons
September 19, 2014

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.

Download the Trends Analysis (PDF) >>


Summary Comparison and Fiscal Impact Analysis of Proposals to amend the Cannabis Control Act
Theft & Retail Theft Analyses