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Welcome to ILLINOIS PRISON TALK, www.illinoisprisontalk.org - A Family Support Forum and Information Center for those interacting with the Illinois Department of Corrections. IPT members are comprised of family/friends of inmates, prison reform activists, ex-offenders, prisoner rights advocates and others interested in the well-being of Illinois prisoners. We encourage open discussion but please be tolerant of other's opinions. This website is protected by Copyright © 2006-2019. All rights reserved. There are some private forums that require registration, please register.

Author Topic: What Is Good Time? CLOSED TOPIC  (Read 6833 times)

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What Is Good Time? CLOSED TOPIC
« on: January 11, 2007, 07:53:03 AM »
GOOD TIME has been replaced with the new  SENTENCE CREDIT as of 2/1/2013.  You can find the description here:

http://www.illinoisprisontalk.org/index.php?topic=29547.0



What is Good Time?


Is there currently a proposal under consideration for increasing good time awards to inmates?
Does Corrections have a program of incarceration payments?
What are "C-Number" inmates?
How do sentencing laws work?
Can I communicate with an inmate over the Internet?
What is the situation with older inmates?
I am a former inmate of IDOC and would like to have my name removed from the Internet Inmate Search Database. How can I do that?
How do I write/correspond with an inmate?
What items (including money) can I mail to an inmate?
What is the situation with boot camps in Illinois?
What is the procedure for assigning inmates to facilities when they begin to serve their sentence?
How long must an inmate be in prison before they can go to a work release center?
How may I obtain archived information/records of past IDOC inmates?


What is Good Time?  
There are four types of good time, however not all inmates are eligible for each type.

Statutory Good Time refers to the percentage of time an inmate must spend incarcerated. Some inmates convicted of non-violent crimes must spend 50% of their sentences incarcerated. Others who are convicted of violent crimes must spend 85% of their sentences incarcerated under "truth in sentencing" laws, or 100% if convicted of murder. The inmate's release date is based on the custody date of the crime which is set by the sentencing court.

Meritorious Good Time refers to the discretionary 90-days the director may grant to any inmate based on their behavior while incarcerated. Please note that the award of meritorious good time is not automatic, it is at the discretion of the director.

Supplemental Meritorious Good Time refers to a second block of 90-days that the director may award to nonviolent offenders. Again, it is not automatic and inmates convicted of violent crimes and Class X crimes are not eligible. Meritorious good time must be earned before supplemental meritorious good time will be considered.

Earned Good Conduct Credit refers to time earned by an inmate for participation in education, drug treatment or Illinois Correctional Industries programs. Again, not all inmates are eligible; inmates convicted of violent and Class X crimes are not eligible. Inmates earn one-half day off their sentence for each day of participation in such programs if they successfully complete the programs (Example: if an eligible inmate completes a drug treatment program that is 30-days in duration, he may be awarded 15-days off his sentence).



Is there currently a proposal under consideration for increasing good time awards to inmates?

Rumors swirl annually, usually during the spring legislative session, that the General Assembly will increase the day-for-day award of statutory good time to two days-for-one or even three days-for-one. That is unlikely since members of the General Assembly may be categorized as "soft" on crime if they voted for the measure; an issue which could be used by an opponent who seeks to replace the legislation.

Does Corrections have a program of incarceration payments?
Mothers of children whose father is incarcerated sometimes find it difficult to make ends meet. They seek "incarceration pay" from the Department of Corrections to help them support the children while the father is incarcerated. There is no Illinois Corrections program that allows the agency to financially support children of incarcerated fathers or mothers.



What are "C-Number" inmates?
"C-Numbers" refers to those inmates who were convicted to indeterminate sentences prior to implementation of determinate sentencing in 1978. C-numbered inmates periodically appear before members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board to plead their case for parole. Other inmates serve a specific amount of time and are released after serving a percentage of their sentence.



How do sentencing laws work?
The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation in 1977 that changed the state's sentencing laws. It also established a new category of crime (Class X for the most violent crimes) as well as creating the death sentence and natural life sentence. Legislators also displaced the Illinois Parole and Pardon Board with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. This eliminated a subjective determination by members of the Parole and Pardon Board as to when or why an inmate could be released from prison.

Determinate sentencing became effective in February, 1978. Inmates convicted of crimes committed in 1978 or later were given determinate sentences -- specific amounts of time based on the seriousness of the crime Previously, an inmate received an indeterminate sentence -- or range of time -- and appeared before the Parole and Pardon Board which determined suitability for release to parole. Until passage of "truth in sentencing" laws in the 1990's, all inmates were to spend half their sentences incarcerated in jail or prison (less awards of good time as explained above). This allowed all involved -- the victim, the criminal, the courts, law enforcement agencies, corrections, and the general public -- to know when the inmate would be released from prison.


Can I communicate with an inmate over the Internet?

No. Inmates are not permitted access to the Internet, nor can they have personal computers in their cells. Inmates may use computers if their educational program merits it.



What is the situation with older inmates?
Traditionally, inmates 50 year of age or older make up three to four percent of the inmate population. While the percentage of older inmates has not increased dramatically, the number of older inmates has increased as the population has quadrupled during the last three decades. And, as younger and middle aged inmates continue to serve longer sentences, the number and percentage of older inmates will increase accordingly. In addition, older inmates will likely have increased health issues as they age. Illinois Corrections is carefully monitoring the situation. The agency is exploring funding sources to expand a geriatric unit currently established at the Dixon Correctional Center. This unit operates on a floor of the infirmary, formerly a hospital for mentally and developmentally disabled people. It houses more than 80 inmates with multiple disabilities who are 55 years old or older. Other older inmates with physical infirmities are housed in prison infirmaries in accordance with the security status.



I am a former inmate of IDOC and would like to have my name removed from the Internet Inmate Search Database. How can I do that?  
Inmate conviction information can only be removed with proper paperwork from the committing court. Certified copies of not guilty verdicts on cases reversed and remanded to the circuit court are sufficient. Other court documents may be considered in cases where mistrials are ruled in remanded cases. Former inmates who have received pardons and commutations will have cases reviewed on an individual basis after Prisoner Review Board documents are submitted to the agency by the board at the request of the former inmate. Paperwork and a cover letter should be submitted to the IDOC Public Information Office.



How do I write/correspond with an inmate?
Inmates may receive mail at any time during their incarceration. Write an inmate as you would anyone else, but remember to put his inmate number in the proximity of his name on the envelope. Your letter to the inmate will be opened and searched for contraband. If contraband is found, we will ask the state’s attorney of your county to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. We are not interested in what you write the inmate unless it contains plans for his escape or other illegal activity. Please do not decorate the envelope with stickers. We strictly enforce the prohibition of stickers since they may be used to introduce contraband materials. Any document received at a prison that has stickers attached will be returned.



What items can I mail to an inmate?  
Inmates may receive correspondence, legal mail, and publications which are reviewed to determine whether they are obscene or constitute a danger to safety and security. Inmates may receive cashier's checks or money orders not to exceed $50 addressed to them with their inmate number and your name and address. Money orders should be sent to the prison.

Additionally, funds in any amount may be sent to the inmate via Western Union. The Code City and State for the Illinois Department of Corrections is ILDOC, IL. The sender must indicate the inmate's incarceration name and inmate number.



What is the situation with boot camps in Illinois?
The Illinois Department of Corrections operates two adult boot camps and one juvenile camp. The adult camps are located at the DuQuoin State Fairground in Perry County, and at Dixon Springs, at the edge of the Shawnee National Forest in deep southern Illinois. The juvenile camp is located in Murphysboro. Adult inmates must volunteer before the judge and the placement recommendation by the judge is reviewed when the inmate is received at Corrections. Corrections administrators determine who goes to the juvenile camp. Adults may not have been convicted of a serious crime, must be between the ages of 18-35 and not have been sentenced to Corrections more than twice. They cannot have a sentence of more than 8 years. Corrections retains the right to determine who goes to boot camp based on the nature of the crime and whether the inmate can take the regimentation both physically and mentally. The camp is 120-days in length. Inmates may not have visitors for 30 days, and then only immediate family. They are also restricted from phone calls for a period of time. Inmates may possess only what Corrections gives them.



What is the procedure for assigning inmates to facilities when they begin to serve their sentence?
Inmates are usually moved within a week or 10-days. Inmates are assigned to maximum security prisons if they have a sentence of 20 or more years. Inmates with a 19 to 8 year sentence are eligible for assignment within a medium security facility, while inmates with a sentence of 7 years or less may be assigned to minimum security facilities. Inmates who do not abide by the rules at minimum or medium security prisons may be assigned to maximum security prisons regardless as to the length of time to serve. They may not have visits for a month, then two one-hour visits for the next 30-days, then three one-hour visits for the next 30 days. They are not allowed to make collect phone calls for the first 30-days, may make one 15-minute phone call during the next 30-days, and then three 15-minute phone calls the next 30-days. They cannot have commissary during the first 30-days, and then $15 a month for personal hygiene items for the next 60-days. This is all dependent on maintaining proper discipline.



How long must an inmate be in prison before they can go to a work release center?  
Corrections operates 8 work release centers called adult transitional centers. One of the centers can house female inmates. These centers are designed to house approximately 1,280 inmates who must work or go to school and return to the center when not occupied in an approved activity in the community. Inmates who are within two years of release and classified as minimum security may apply for placement at an ATC through their counselor. However, there are approximately 45,000 adults incarcerated so Corrections is very selective about who is transferred to ATCs.



How may I obtain archived information/records of past IDOC inmates?  
Currently, an inmate search on our website will only return information the Department may disclose to the public on IDOC inmates who are currently incarcerated or on parole. If an inmate has completed their sentence, their information will not be displayed. Their information is still available, however, you must request it through our archived records search. To make a request, visit our webpage on retrieving archived records for information.


~ "I have visited some of the best and the worst prisons and have never seen signs of coddling, but I have seen the terrible results of the boredom and frustration of empty hours and pointless existence." ~ US Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

~ "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
~ Mahatma Gandhi


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