Inmate Offers Prisoner Reduction Plan

I’ve corresponded over the years with Department of Corrections inmates.

One observes the management of the system and passes on suggestions.

Used to be I could have some potential impact.

Not so much anymore, except by sharing this suggestion of how the Bruce Rauner Administration could reduce the number of prisoners–one of his goal–thus reducing the cost to taxpayers.

In a letter to Governor Rauner, he writes,


The Mission Statement of the Illinois Department of Corrections contains rhetoric that is being consciously ignored.

The rehabilitative concept of ┬áprograms to promote offender’s successful re-entry in society” would have Illinois taxpayers think that these programs exist.

However, any program that would reduce recidivism and lower the number of prisoners would also reduce the number of staff necessary to care for them

Because the IDOC shares the survival instinct with most living things, it is unable to initiate any meaningful self-reform.

However, change is possible if it is created legislatively.

To this end, and on behalf of Illinois taxpayers as well as most of the (circa0 50,000 prisoners in the Illinois system, I ask that you please involved the Legislative Research Unit and request that they study the following concept and prepare meaningful legislation for your approval.

[Actually, I think most of the suggestions below could be implemented without new legislation.]

If all upper echelon prison administrators, from Lieutenants all the say up to the Director, were paid a base salary and then a bonus for a reduction in thee rate of recidivism and a concomitant reduction in the number of prisoners, the intent of the Crime Reduction Act as well as the Governor’s goal of a 25% reduction in the prison population could become a reality.

Any money paid as a bonus would be off set by any litigation expenses where the staff member was a dependent in a prison-related law suit.

The paradigm shift to a base salary with a bonus for achieving pre-established goals should be the incentive required to eliminate the causes of the many IDOC program failures.

The prisoner titles his suggestion


In each of the various Illinois prisons a newly sentenced prisoner is given an orientation manual that lists over a hundred rules and the penalties imposed for breaking them, but nowhere is there any reference to the possibility of earning a better life through conformance or a system of merit.

This lack of merit or incentive based prison management discourages prisoners from thinking that they can ever be more than convicts.

Prisoners will try to make their lives conform with the arcane (often bewildering) prison rules and the unpublished Prisoner’s Code of Conduct established by their alleged peers.

I use “alleged” here because prisoners are more competitors in a struggle to survive than equals.

This is a form of Social Darwinism and amp’ed up on steroids.

However, even with a lack of incentive based management those prisoners with a sincere desire to escape the revolving door of recidivism can be successful.

Success requires that a prisoner use the time the Courts have given him/her productively.

Educational opportunities up to an associates degree are available in almost every Illinois prison.

Educational programs are often at the mercy of institutional security, lockdowns for any any reason interrupt class schedules and are often imposed for reasons that are neither legitimate nor reasonable.

The motivation behind many lockdowns and outright cancellation of classes and programming can be traced to attempts at job preservation by middle management prison staff.

The Illinois prison system is contractually obligated to maintain specific staffing ratios for each security level prison.

When efforts to reduce recidivism are successful, and the number of prisoners is reduced, a concomitant number of staff will lose their jobs.

Since IDOC has not known contingency plans that would facility downsizing the system, programs successful in reducing recidivism are often sabotaged in the interest of securing and protecting the jobs for the Corrections officers.

= = = = =
This is an idea similar to a technique used by Medicare to encourage hospitals to make sure patients are well when they leave.

Medicare penalizes hospitals with high re-admission rates.


Inmate Offers Prisoner Reduction Plan — 17 Comments

  1. Interesting letter. Big part of our problem is that we lock people up for anything, overcrowd our system and cut the serious offenders loose.
    But there is no or very little correcting in Corrections.

  2. sorry but our jails are over crowded because the attorneys are holding up cases. If they don’t have time to prepare for court they ask the Judge for another date and that is usually 30 more days. and it goes on and on continuances one after another..

  3. The OP is about prisons, not jails. The cases have already been adjudicated.

  4. I know what the article is about but it all starts out in jail. In prisons let them pay for their own education.

  5. As of Dec. 24, 2016:

    Offense # of Inmates % of Inmates
    Banking and Insurance, Counterfeit, Embezzlement 562 0.30%
    Burglary, Larceny, Property Offenses 7,997 4.50%
    Continuing Criminal Enterprise 417 0.20%
    Courts or Corrections 743 0.40%
    Drug Offenses 82,415 46.40%
    Extortion, Fraud, Bribery 11,503 6.50%
    Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping Offenses 5,537 3.10%
    Immigration 15,073 8.50%
    Miscellaneous 1,383 0.80%
    National Security 75 0.00%
    Robbery 6,753 3.80%
    Sex Offenses 15,248 8.60%
    Weapons, Explosives, Arson 29,920 16.80%

  6. Thanks Connect the dots, very interesting 46% for drug offenses. That is why TRUE conservatives should be looking at RE-LEGALIZING cannabis. Overall drug and alcohol use would plummet. Just read an article where booze drinkers are turning to cannabis in huge numbers in CA. 11% gave up booze!

    If someone could explain to me the true reason Republicans are so “anti-cannabis”, please inform me.

  7. I believe it started out as a anti minority deal.
    The excuse is still a gateway drug.
    The most common gateway drug is introduced by parents, Aspirin.

  8. Wrong. The most common gateway drug is legalized and TAXABLE by the government – alcohol.

  9. More people have used Aspirin or Ibuprofen than Alcohol especially at a younger age when you’re more likely to learn bad habits of drug abuse.
    Age has allot to do with it as does parent’s saying one is good the other not so much till you’re older.

  10. Aspirin is made from tree bark. Hardly a drug. Next the Nob will claim that natural herbs are gateway drugs. LMAO

  11. Pot is a natural source and doesn’t need modification like tree bark does, both have value and weaknesses if used incorrectly.
    It’s not the actual drugs that are the problem, it’s abusers.
    Even if you abuse H2O by drinking to much at once it can kill ya.
    Fact my cynical friend.

  12. Stop calling me your friend. And what has this to do with prisons for profit?

  13. The Illinois prison system is contractually obligated to maintain specific staffing ratios for each security level prison.
    When efforts to reduce recidivism are successful, and the number of prisoners is reduced, a concomitant number of staff will lose their jobs.
    We save $$$$$, Pal!

  14. You are never going to save dollars when it’s a money-making scheme. There are kickbacks involved and everybody is in on it.

  15. For many years McHenry County Jail was paid to house Mexican detainees that its own departments deputies had arrested for various crimes including minor traffic infractions.
    Then there was the deputy who was caught with false ethnic information on the tickets he wrote.
    You don’t have to look too far to find corruption.

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