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Author Topic: Elderly Bill Legislation  (Read 28019 times)

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Offline Forevermah

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Elderly Bill Legislation
« on: June 26, 2013, 01:37:26 PM »

A Committee is being formed for planning and drafting a bill to get elderly inmate release legislation passed this coming year!

If anyone is interested or wants to join this group and get involved with this legislation, the following is the information on the meeting tomorrow 6/27/2013 at Northeastern College, Chicago.





To push this agenda forward we would like to have an initial organizing meeting at 2:00-5:00 p.m., Thursday, June 27th, at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU).  The room will be CBM 162.  This is the College of Business & Management building located on the corner of Bryn Mawr Ave. and St. Louis.  There is free street parking along St. Louis.

Thank you,

Cris Toffolo
 Justice Studies Department
Northeastern Illinois University
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Offline Forevermah

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation - SunTimes Supports
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 10:48:27 AM »

Stiff prison sentences aren’t a magic cure for crime

Editorials August 12, 2013 5:54PM
   
   
   
   
Updated: August 13, 2013 2:18AM
 

Incarceration plays an important role in protecting the public, but for 40 years our nation has overused it, wasting lives and money.

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged as much when he told the American Bar Association in San Francisco that the federal government will scale back stiff sentences for some drug crimes and divert low-level offenders to drug treatment and community service programs.

This is a huge and welcome step toward right-sizing our federal prison system, one we have long argued for as an editorial page. Illinois should pay attention, and do more to get in step with other states that are significantly reducing their prison populations.

Harsh prison terms, including mandatory minimum sentences, long were politically popular as a way to crack down on crime. But mandatory sentences take away judges’ ability to adjust punishment when the facts call for it. Instead, we drive up costs and fill prisons with people who don’t need to be there and who come out more inclined to commit crimes than when they went in. We need to stop telling judges ahead of time how to rule in every circumstance. As Holder said, “We cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation.”

The emphasis on incarceration has been far from cheap. The Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation says that over the past 30 years, corrections costs have been the second-fastest growing area of state budgets, after Medicaid. As Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement Monday, “The mandatory minimum sentence policy has led to severe overcrowding in our prison system and swelled taxpayer spending on incarceration and detention.”

Even states where conservatives hold sway such as Arkansas and Texas — and national Republican leaders such as Jeb Bush — believe fewer low-level drug offenders belong in prison. Holder said 17 states have shifted money from building prisons to treatment and supervision. The Pew Charitable Trusts estimates that states working to reduce their prison populations will save more than $4 billion over the next several years. Those states have come to realize what research shows: Stiff sentences are not a magical solution to crime.

Illinois took a step forward with the Crime Reduction Act of 2009, but the subsequent replacement of the state’s “Meritorious Good Time” system with a program that’s much less aggressive in reducing unnecessary prison time has had the unfortunate effect of driving the state’s prison population to near-record levels. Although the total prison population of 48,783 is down from 49,494 last year, we have twice the number of prisoners we did a generation ago.

Preckwinkle and Gov. Pat Quinn, who closed two youth incarceration facilities and two adult prisons, have been pushing programs to divert nonviolent offenders into alternatives to prison. More work needs to be done on this front.

One promising proposal that will be brought to the Legislature when it reconvenes would offer prisoners at least 50 years old who have served at least 25 years an opportunity to go before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board and request parole. By no means should all these inmates be freed, but those who are ill or who have changed their behavior should be considered. Older prisoners cost the state roughly $75,000 a year, prison reform advocates estimate, compared with the average of about $22,000. Illinois doesn’t need to incarcerate so many people who have walkers or wheelchairs or who are on kidney dialysis. Neither does the federal government, which is why Holder also called for allowing the release of some elderly, nonviolent offenders from federal prisons.

Maintaining momentum on diverting offenders from prison won’t be easy. As soon as someone who doesn’t get a stiff term behind bars commits a serious crime, cries will go up to reimpose harsher sentences. But we’ve learned our lesson. Sending vast numbers of low-level, nonviolent offenders to prison just doesn’t work.
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Offline Forevermah

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 10:58:52 AM »
The next meeting for the Elderly Bill Legislation is:


August 27th
1PM

420 E Superior
Room 877
8th floor
Chicago
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline Forevermah

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2013, 05:19:17 PM »



Graying Prisoners

By JAMIE FELLNER
Published: August 18, 2013 255 Comments

   

MORE and more United States prisons resemble nursing homes with bars, where the elderly and infirm eke out shrunken lives. Prison isn’t easy for anyone, but it is especially punishing for those afflicted by the burdens of old age. Yet the old and the very old make up the fastest-growing segment of the prison population.
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Today, the New York State Board of Parole is scheduled to decide whether to give medical parole to Anthony D. Marshall, who was convicted of stealing from his mother, Brooke Astor. Mr. Marshall is 89 and suffers from Parkinson’s and congestive heart failure. His lawyers say he cannot stand or dress himself. He is one of at least 26,100 men and women 65 and older incarcerated in state and federal prisons, up 62 percent in just five years.

Owing largely to decades of tough-on-crime policies — mandatory minimum sentences, “three strikes” laws and the elimination of federal parole — these numbers are likely to increase as more and more prisoners remain incarcerated into their 70s and 80s, many until they die.

I try to imagine my 90-year-old father in prison. His body and mind whittled by age, he shuffles, takes a painful eternity to get up from a chair and forgets the names of his grandchildren.

How would he fare climbing in and out of an upper bunk bed? Would he remember where his cell was in the long halls of many prisons? How would his brittle bones cope with a thin mattress and blanket in a cold cell in winter, or his weak heart with the summer heat. If he had an “accident,” would someone help him clean up? Unlike Mr. Marshall, some older inmates committed violent crimes, and there are people who think such prisoners should leave prison only “in a pine box.”

Anger, grief and the desire for retribution are understandable, and we can all agree that people who commit serious crimes should be held accountable. But retribution can shade into vengeance. While being old should not be an automatic get-out-of-jail-free card, infirmity and illness can change the calculus of what justice requires.

It is worth asking: What do we as a society get from keeping these people in prison? People like the 87-year-old I met who had an “L” painted on his left shoe and an “R” on his right so he would know which was which and who didn’t even seem to know he was in prison. Or the old men I watched play bingo in a prison day room who needed staff members to put the markers on the bingo cards for them.

Attorney General Eric Holder gave his answer to this question on Aug. 12 when he announced new compassionate release policies for the Bureau of Prisons. Elderly and infirm federal prisoners who have served a significant part of their sentence and pose no danger will now be eligible for early release.

Recidivism studies consistently show declining rates of crime with age. Those who are bedridden or in wheelchairs are not likely to go on crime sprees. The scores of older prisoners I have met want to spend their remaining time with their families; they are coming to terms with mortality, regret their past crimes and hope, if time permits, to make amends.

Keeping the elderly and infirm in prison is extraordinarily costly. Annual medical costs for older prisoners range from three to nine times higher than those for younger ones, because, as in the general population, older people behind bars have high rates of chronic disease and infirmities and require more hospitalizations and medical care.

I have talked with dozens of correctional staff members who acknowledge that officers are not trained to manage geriatric prisoners. Nor are there enough of them to give the extra attention such prisoners may need — to ensure they take their medications, find their way to their cell, are clean if they are incontinent.

So what can be done? Compassionate release and medical parole programs exist in many prison systems, but they are poorly used and often exclude people who committed violent crimes or sex offenses even if those people are no longer able to repeat such crimes.

If the programs were properly devised and used, some aging prisoners could go back to their families. Others could be released to nursing homes or assisted-living facilities — although it is increasingly difficult to find private facilities that will take former prisoners. States and the federal government should also jettison laws requiring mandatory sentences that condemn offenders to old age in prison, without regard to whether they pose a threat to the public or have the potential for rehabilitation.

If we aren’t willing to change sentencing laws or make more use of compassionate release, we’ll need to pour vast sums of money into prisons to provide adequate conditions of care for the soaring population of geriatric prisoners.

That means investing in special training for correction officers; in round-the-clock medical care; in retrofitting buildings, wheelchair-accessible cells and bathrooms; in units with lower bunks and no stairs; and in increased hospice care for the terminally ill.

But do we really want to go that route? In the case of frail and incapacitated prisoners who can safely be released to spend what remains of their lives under supervised parole, release is a far more compassionate, sensible course.

Jamie Fellner is a senior adviser at Human Rights Watch, focusing on criminal justice in the United States.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/19/opinion/graying-prisoners.html?_r=0
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Offline Forevermah

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 08:11:54 AM »

If anyone wants to get involved in the Elderly Bill Legislation, today is another meeting at 1PM. 



August 27th
1PM

420 E Superior
Room 877
8th floor
Chicago
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



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Offline webmari

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2013, 08:39:02 AM »
Wished I could be there because I would support this bill with all of my heart. But I am across the ocean and my hopes and prayers are that there will be many people getting involved to go and stop this incarceration of people on a basis of LWOP and double life terms and the like which in most cases does not make any sense at all.

Offline jaf

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 07:47:53 AM »
Today at noon in the House Restorative Justice Committee hearing, they will be discussing the latest version of HB3668. 

If you click on this link at noon, and then click on the link to Room 115, it should be on then.

http://www.ilga.gov/house/audvid.asp


Rep. Art Turner introduced it last fall, and now 11 co-sponsors have been added, including Speaker Currie, so it looks hopeful.

Synopsis As Introduced
 Amends the Unified Code of Corrections. Provides that a committed person who is at least 50 years of age and who has served at least 25 consecutive years of imprisonment in a Department of Corrections institution or facility may petition the Prisoner Review Board for participation in the Elderly Rehabilitated Prisoner Sentence Modification Program. Provides that if the committed person files the petition, the victims and the families of the victims of the committed person's offenses shall be notified in a timely manner after the filing of the petition. Provides that the Board shall consider the petition in its entirety and shall not order the release of the committed person if it finds that the committed person poses a threat to public safety. Provides that if the Board determines that a committed person is eligible for participation in the Program and that the committed person should participate in the Program, the Board shall set the conditions for the committed person's release from prison before the expiration of his or her sentence. Provides that when granting participation in the Program, the Board may require the committed person, for a period of time upon release, to participate in community service or to wear an electronic monitoring device, or both.

Offline jaf

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 07:49:58 AM »
I hope somebody will listen and report back!   

I'll be headed over to my yearly torture appointment. . . . I mean income tax preparation appointment, so I'll miss it.

Offline chantygirl

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 10:28:10 AM »
I hope somebody will listen and report back!   

I'll be headed over to my yearly torture appointment. . . . I mean income tax preparation appointment, so I'll miss it.

I'm going to attempt to!  I've set an alarm to remind me.  Now, let's just hope I can remember what the alarm was for  :wc71-1:

Offline chantygirl

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2014, 01:03:14 PM »
This is like torture.  I'm not sure how you ladies can handle listening to these things on a regular basis.  It's been an hour, and the only thing that has been accomplished is to pass HB 4283 which extends the time for prison issued ID cards from 30 to 90 days, with no opposition.  Then they went on break  :wc95:

Offline jcruz1104

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 01:51:27 PM »
This is like torture.  I'm not sure how you ladies can handle listening to these things on a regular basis.  It's been an hour, and the only thing that has been accomplished is to pass HB 4283 which extends the time for prison issued ID cards from 30 to 90 days, with no opposition.  Then they went on break  :wc95:

Your better then me.. I waited like 10 minutes it was a break of some sort. Sorry I couldn't handel that. it was just noise.
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Offline chantygirl

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 02:00:56 PM »
I keep walking away and coming back to it.  I listened to them go on and on (and even took notes) regarding the fact that the secretary of state doesn't consider the prison issued temporary ID cards to be a true form of ID.  And that it's the law to issue a medicaid card and an id card upon release, so that the only thing an inmate has to prove is address (within 30 days) and they can get a state issued ID card.  But, the BMV won't accept the prison ID because of "rules."  So, the inmates have to obtain another form of identification before they can get a state issue ID, and in the cases of long term incarceration, the inmates may have to re-apply for and wait for a new social security card or birth certificate.  Those things take longer than 30 days to get.  So, they went on break to wait for the secretary of state to come downstairs (since they're in the same building), so she could tell them the same thing  :wc95:.  They then decided to draft another bill to bring the law and the secretary of state rules governing prison IDs together, and voted to approve the time extension.  That must have been a lot of work, because they've now been on "break" for an hour.

Offline chantygirl

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2014, 02:59:22 PM »
They never came back, and the link now says they're no longer in session.  So, the elderly bill didn't get anywhere today.

Offline jaf

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2014, 05:53:56 PM »
They never came back, and the link now says they're no longer in session.  So, the elderly bill didn't get anywhere today.

Well dang it!  That happens a lot.  It is good that they're working on the other problem though.  Guys getting out have enough to worry about.  Hope they'll make this be one less . . . . . eventually.

I do like listening in, but I can't just sit and listen.  I have to be doing something.  Thanks for trying!

Offline Forevermah

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2014, 09:28:04 AM »


The Elderly Bill: Is it a "Get out of Jail Free" Pass? -

March 10, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Supporters of the Elderly Bill in Illinois are denying that it's "a get out of jail free" pass for aging long-term prisoners. House Bill 3668 would enable a convict who is 50 years of age or older and who has served at least 25 consecutive years to apply for a sentence modification.

According to Bill Ryan, member of the steering committee of Project I-11, a coalition focused on prison reform in the state, the measure addresses the question, 'What is the purpose of sentencing?'"

"If it is to punish, then 25 years in an Illinois prison certainly is punishment," Ryan said. "If it is to rehabilitate and people can show that they are rehabilitated, why keep them in prison, at a cost of $75,000 a year, to warehouse the elderly in our prisons?"

Besides saving the state money, Ryan said, the measure would also reduce prison overcrowding. Families of victims would be allowed input in the sentencing modification process. He added that national studies find that prisoners over age 50 who have served long sentences have virtually no recidivism rate for violent crimes. The bill was introduced by Representative Art Turner (D-District 9) and has nine co-sponsors.

Ryan said the Elderly bill will help to distinguish long-term offenders who have turned their lives around and become fully rehabilitated, from those who are not rehabilitated.

"Most of us do not know anything about prisons or the prisoners," he asserted. "They need to know that people can change, and people do change."

Ryan said this bill provides for modest and needed sentencing reform, but it's just a first step.

"The United States incarcerates and locks up more people than any country in the world. We lock up more and they stay longer. We need to look at the purpose of sentencing and make it an issue and make some changes," he declared.

Project I-11 takes its name from Article I, Section 11 of the Illinois Constitution, which specifies that the purpose of incarceration is to return prisoners to "useful citizenship."

Information on the bill is at ILGA.gov.
- See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/index.php?/content/article/38017-1#sthash.ATrEqsze.dpuf
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



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Offline Forevermah

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2014, 12:35:40 PM »
There will be a meeting with the Joint Legislative Criminal Justice Committee on Sentencing Reform/Elderly for anyone on:

July 15,2014
6th floor, James Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph
Chicago. Illinois
Time: 2PM



This meeting/hearing on the 15th, will be testimony on this issue from IDOC only.



A future meeting/hearing/s will be devoted to the general public/victim families testimony and for this hearing we would like to have many attend, IPT will post the date for that and any future hearings in this topic. This will be your chance to have your voices heard and get involved, save the date and plan on it.


Please contact your state legislators by phone or writing and let them know your concerns on these issues and also contact the Committee Members ..  Rep Michael Zalewski, (D-23 ) Riverside, Sen. Michael Noland, Rep. Arthur Turner (D-9) Chicago, Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13) Chicago, Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (D-5) Chicago and the full list is below.




PLEASE read the testimony of Bill Ryan in pdf,  just click on this link to read it all:













 Committee members:

CO-chairs: Rep Michael Zalewski, (D-23 ) Riverside
                   Sen. Michael Noland   ( D- 22)Elgin

Rep.John Anthony (R-) Morris
Rep.Ken Dunkin (D-5) Chicago
Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-45) Addison
Rep. Arthur Turner (D-9) Chicago
Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13) Chicago
Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (D-5) Chicago







We will post more information as we get it, please check back often.
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline chantygirl

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2014, 05:42:09 PM »
Just to make sure I'm clear on this.  The July 15th meeting is NOT for the general public?

Offline Forevermah

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2014, 06:42:32 PM »
Just to make sure I'm clear on this.  The July 15th meeting is NOT for the general public?

No, this meeting is for anyone, but only testimony from IDOC will be given. The general public/victim famlies will be given a chance to speak at a future meeting, dates of which we will be giving here on IPT.

But everyone should/can write/call their state reps/committee members with their concerns now!
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline Forevermah

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2014, 01:13:31 PM »

Just bringing this back up for anyone that is thinking about attending, it is this Tuesday, July 15th, 2PM.

This Morning on WBBM780.com Radio, Craig Delimire Interviewed State Rep. Michael Zalewski, just click on the link below for this interview, it was very interesting.

Changes need to be made and am hoping this committee can get the ball rolling, Tough on Crime isn't the way to go anymore:


This week on "At Issue" WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore interviews State Rep. Michael Zalewski, one of the leaders of a group of lawmakers who are starting to craft reforms of Illinois' justice system.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/audio/wbbm-latest/
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline chantygirl

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Re: Elderly Bill Legislation
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2014, 01:46:38 PM »
From the interview, it sounds like Michael Zalewski is a good one to contact with concerns.  He seems pretty open to suggestions.   


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