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Author Topic: First timer  (Read 185 times)

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Offline onlyson

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First timer
« on: January 05, 2019, 08:32:32 AM »
My son has been sent to Lincoln correctional. Does anyone have experience with this facility. Is there good time? Are there programs? How safe is this dorm style setting? Any help would be appreciated. This is all new for us and hopefully never occurring again.

Offline Father

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Re: First timer
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 11:32:41 AM »
Hi onlyson.  I have not had any experience with Lincoln but the whole thing gets better as time goes on.  I know you are probably scared but not as much as your son is right now.
Our son was also a first time offender when he was sentenced a couple of years ago and my wife and I were sad, afraid and nervous and during the initial stages I found a lot of comfort on this site from others that are going thru what I and your are right now so don"t be afraid or embarrassed to ask anything.

I have learned that most of what you hear and see on TV does not happen, especially at the low security prison .  Not to say that nothing bad ever happens but from my experience my son has been safe, fed and housed.  He will learn what he needs to learn inside about prison politics and for the most part if he just keeps to himself and focus on getting out he wont have any issues.
   
Lincoln is a minimum facility which is good and avoiding fights and trying to escape will keep him there.    He will learn the biggest issue is the routine and the boredom and like my my son staying connected with loved ones on the outside or out in the world as they call it.   I write weekly and send him magazines and we visit a couple of times a month this helps his mom and I and our son as well

From our experience the dorms are safe and most offenders at these facilities are only concentrating on getting out so they avoid trouble.  It is difficult being in a place with 20 other people and learning to cope is important.  I don't know about for sure about Lincoln but I believe they can have their on TV's at their bedsides and a MP3 player for music they have to but these things and everything at IDOC is about 3 times what it costs out in the world..  After about a month your son will learn about all the privileges he can have. 

There are 2 types of good time.  If his charge allows it (ie Not a truth in sentencing Charge where he has to serve for example at least 85% of his charge (DUI) or 100%) he will be eligible to take programming classes and earn good time.  At some facilities if he is in long enough he can earn an associates degree.  But  you will find that the ease of getting into these classes can be difficult when you first get in and has a lot to do with his conviction but taking classes or participating in programming really passes the time.   He needs to take to his counselor about what is available.   

The other type of good time is what is now called EDSC Earned discretionary supplemental credit.  This is given at the discretion of IDOC and is on hold right now but I am hoping that to change going forward with the new governor.

I would recommended going thru the following links they have a lot of information.  The IDOC site will give you an idea about the classes that are available at the facilities,  the JCAR web site provides all the rules that pertains to IDOC and inmates and are the laws that have to be followed and the John Howard association will give you a perspective from the criminal justice reform side.

I know initially it can be very scary but it does get better as time moves on.  If you have any questions please post them there are many people on here that have a lot of experience and has gone thru the same thing you are feeling right not.


https://www2.illinois.gov/idoc/pages/default.aspx

http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/020/020parts.html

https://www.thejha.org/


Take Care


Offline trauma4us

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Re: First timer
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 08:30:56 AM »
I echo Father's sentiments: our son was a first time offender too and has been incarcerated >5 years now at another minimum security prison. Lincoln is adjacent to Logan Correctional Center so just be sure you park in the correct lot - the Lincoln lot is to the left corner as you enter.

It is boring for everyone - even if your son is sentenced utilizing truth in sentencing guidelines, he can still participate in programs, but can't get time off his sentence. My son is in fulltime school and receives college credit but no time off of his sentence. However, it does help tremendously with the boredom.

Some other rules:

Keep his head down, be selective who he talks to.
Don't gamble
Don't borrow things nor lend things
My son has been involved in two fights in 5 years - both because someone was trying to take his stuff. It is best to avoid fights but it is not good to be thought of as a pushover either
We visit 4-6 times per month as we are only 113 miles away (lol its amazing how many times I've driven this distance.) Our son doesn't call much because we visit quite a bit.
The MP3 players are very cool - our son receives his messages from us within 2 hours - a big help when we visit to tell him we are coming.

Our son has been safe - no issues there. The big thing is keeping his head down and his mouth shut until he gets acclimated.

Best wishes. This place is the best!

Offline onlyson

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Re: First timer
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 10:37:57 AM »
thank you for your information. I am having a hard time trying to get actual details from Lincoln on what is available for him to take for classes good time or not. the information is conflicting on who tells it. also we have already had a fighting experience. some guy who was fine for 2 weeks just flipped out unprovoked and whaled on my son. he is not a small guy either. he did not fight back, mainly because he was knocked out right away. he is okay, but i was to say the least flipping out. good news i guess is that fighting is not tolerated so the other person as sent to solitary and will be transferred. we have advised like you to keep to himself and stay on guard. no one is your friend and hope for the best. he has signed up for what he found out about but there is i guess long waiting lists, so don't know what he will or won't get into to.

Offline trauma4us

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Re: First timer
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 11:40:47 AM »
Glad your son is okay. I know its scary. Best to do is to let him sort things out - I know as a Mom that is hard and my son is almost 34!

Programs are sometimes quite a wait. My son has been at Taylorville almost 5 years now and got into school after three years. He is now in full time school and was very lucky to get that seat. He really likes it as the boredom is what is the biggest issue.

Yep no one is his friend - he will have people he talks to but dont' get caught up in the drama that is prison. My son is one of the older ones in his dorm and hates the "hootin and hollerin" as he describes it - he just wants things nice and quiet without drama.

As Father said, it gets easier, never gets easy but does get easier. May I ask how long a sentence your son has?

Offline kristyski1

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Re: First timer
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 11:50:07 AM »
 Onlyson, Iím definitely sending you lots of good thoughts. My LO is a first timer, too.  The one thing we have learned, besides the advice already given, is not to get too comfortable. Remember there is nothing fair about being incarcerated; not for him or for you. Donít get caught up in whatís fair. It will drive you crazy. Things will change with no notice. Be grateful for every minute of visiting time, every phone call, and every letter. Try hard to be positive. Weíve gotten to the point where we celebrate biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and the fact we can still watch the same football games, just not together. Programs are hard to get into where my LO is. He walked a very thin line between persistent and obsessive about contacting people to get into programs. If you donít follow up and stay on it, you wonít get in. If you are a pest, you tend not to get in too. Itís hard. I have truly learned a lot since my LO has been in. I canít wait for him to come home. I donít post a lot, but find a lot of great information here. Wishing your family all the best.

Offline onlyson

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Re: First timer
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2019, 10:20:05 AM »
Trauma4 us- my son was sentenced 4 years. we are hoping for good time of 6 months at some point during sentence, but if not 16 months from time in county already served.

Offline trauma4us

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Re: First timer
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2019, 03:54:37 PM »
Trauma4 us- my son was sentenced 4 years. we are hoping for good time of 6 months at some point during sentence, but if not 16 months from time in county already served.

Once he gets settled and you get into a routine, the time goes by smoother for both you and him. School made a world of difference for our son - boredom is the enemy.