State Senators Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles) and Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton) were appointed to serve on Gov. Rauner’s newly-formed Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform.
The Commission has been tasked with analyzing Illinois’ criminal justice system from arrest to re-entry into the community. It will explore evidence-based strategies to reduce the rate of imprisonment and recidivism, while also preserving public safety.
Other members of the committee include members of the law enforcement community, legislators, professors specializing in criminal justice, lawyers, judges, experts in violence prevention and drug abuse, and representatives from the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Illinois prison population hovers at just shy of 50,000 inmates in a system that was originally intended to house no more than 31,500 inmates. Illinois taxpayers have shelled out an additional $320 million over the past five fiscal years in overtime costs, even as the security workforce for the state’s 25 correctional facilities has reached a near-record low.
Additionally, the Office of the Governor formally dismissed the former head of the Illinois Department of Corrections whose tenure was plagued by controversy. Former Director Salvador Godinez was implicated in 2013 by the Office of the Executive Inspector General for the questionable circumstances surrounding the hiring of a former Congressman’s son.