Illinois Battles Burgeoning Inmates Numbers!

A report from the Brannan School of Justice has brought the woes of Illinois to the forefront as the state grapples with a staggering rise in prison population. Compiled from data for the last 40 years, it was found that incarceration as a deterrent to criminal activity lost its efficacy way back in 1997. Yet, state judiciary and law enforcement failed to take notice of the faltering correlation.

The impact has been financially crippling for the correctional system despite annual spending of almost $ 1.3 billion on corrections. Fortunately, the ailing system found some reprieve in declining crime rates that plunged by almost 57% between 1991 and 2013.
However, this cannot be attributed to increased incarceration. Although the strategy did work marginally, offering improvements of 10% or less in crime figures in the early 1990’s since then the approach has failed miserably. In fact, by 1997, Illinois had a bigger problem with prison population that had swelled a massive 250 times than with criminal acts.

Fortunately, things seem to be looking up for the state as it lowers the rate of incarceration for its citizens, pushing it below the national average. Moreover, the enactment of Crime Reduction Law of 2009 has also helped to some extent in bringing down the number of people currently behind bars. However, more needs to be done to create a significant difference since the decrease of 700 prisoners in 2013 still left the Illinois Corrections Department with a mammoth population of 50,000 prisoners.