Bill Status of HB2400 102nd General Assembly
Short Description: CD CORR-PATHWAY TO COMMUNITY
Rep. Arthur Turner - Carol Ammons - Sonya M. Harper - Justin Slaughter, Elizabeth Hernandez, Nicholas K. Smith, Maurice A. West, II, Will Guzzardi and Kelly M. Cassidy
|Session Sine Die
Statutes Amended In Order of Appearance
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 30 consecutive years of imprisonment in a Department of Corrections institution or facility may petition the Department for participation in the Pathway to Community Program, which is a 5-year pilot program within the Department of Corrections. Provides that a maximum of 15 males and a maximum of 15 females may be selected for the Program. Excludes from the Program persons convicted of first degree murder of a peace officer or firefighter and sexual predators. Establishes eligibility requirements for the Program. Provides that before a participant is selected for the Program, the petitioner shall successfully complete an atonement and restorative justice program prepared by the Department. Following completion of this program of atonement and restorative justice, the Department shall notify the victim and the family members of the victim of the petitioner's offense and to afford them the opportunity to participate in the Department's final selection process for the Pathway to Community Program. Up to $1,000 of trauma-informed victim services or trauma-certified professional therapy shall be provided by the Department to family members of the victim of the petitioner's offense. Provides that optional participation by family members of the victim of petitioner's offense shall be provided by the Department at no cost to the family members of the victim. Provides that time served in the Program shall be credited toward time served on the sentence. Provides that the Program is terminated 6 years after the effective date of the amendatory Act.
|Correctional Note (Dept of Corrections)
|The impact of this legislation on the Department will depend on how many offenders would be accepted into and complete the Pathway to Community Program, how many offenders would receive executive clemency, how many staff are needed to meet the requirements outlined in this legislation, how victims and their families respond, and how fiscal needs will be met. Therefore, the fiscal impact on the Department is unknown. The correctional population impact is also unknown since program participants must petition for Governor clemency to receive an early release from prison based on their progress through the program. Also, though participants may be released from prison before their expected parole or mandatory supervised release date, the end date of their supervised release period does not change, leaving the offender under the jurisdiction of the Department for the entirety of their sentence. Second, House Bill 2400 does not specify the components of an atonement and restorative adjustment program. The Department does not currently operate such a program. In addition, Department efforts are presently focusing on evidence-based programs. Therefore, an atonement and restorative adjustment program would have to be created, or acquired, and this will result in costs for program development and/or acquisition. Staff would have to develop a research design necessary to implement a program with a potentially high success rate for older offenders who have been incarcerated for many years, and then develop and study the specific components. Among many undertakings, staff would have to be trained; selection criteria and methods would have to be developed; policies would be written; means to measure if offenders have demonstrated reform, changed behavior, remorse, and the ability to socialize; renunciation of criminal activity and gang affiliation would have to be identified; and outcome measures would have to be constructed. Moreover, this legislation specifies that offenders must participate for 5 years; however, there is no indication in House Bill 2400 as written for the justification for mandating that time period. The costs for these responsibilities, as well as costs for acquisition of licensed curriculum and supplies, if available, are unknown at this time. Third, House Bill 2400 stipulates that, following completion of this program of atonement and restorative justice, the Department shall make an exhaustive effort to find and notify family members of the victim of the petitioner's offense and to afford them the opportunity to participate in the Department's final selection process for the Pathway to Community Program. This presents numerous logistical problems for Department staff. Records are very old, and documents may not identify victims by name or where to contact them after more than 30 years. Department staff currently struggle to get victim information from the courts. Many victims' families would have to be contacted, and if found, may not want to participate in any activities with the offenders, relive the memories, or even be identified at all. Many victims want absolutely nothing to do with their offenders. Correctional staff do not treat victims; there are no staff to perform any necessary therapeutic services to victims. If the victims refuse this service, the Department is unsure if it would be mandated to withhold the program if a victim chooses not to participate. Despite efforts made by centralized program staff, as well as the facility staff, Victims Services is already inundated with work related to assisting the victims of Illinois' 39,000 inmates and 27,000 parolees. current Victim Services staff would not be able to assist in meeting House Bill 2400 provisions. The Department estimates this program would need to be implemented In two facilities, one for males and one for females. The Department also estimates two additional staff members would need to be employed at each facility where Pathway programs are implemented, one to assist in Victim Services and one to assist in the administrative tasks of the program. Staff are estimated at an annual cost of $100,000 each for salary and benefits. Fourth, House Bill 2400 provides that up to $1,000 of trauma-informed victim services or traumacertified professional therapy must be provided by the Department to family members of the victim of the petitioner's offense. Insurance policies of the family members of the victim of the petitioner's offense or family members' financial resources shall first be used to pay the costs of these services or therapy. Optional participation by family members of the victim of petitioner's offense would be provided by the Department at no cost to the family members of the victim. The impact of these fiscal constraints on the Department cannot be identified until the program is implemented, though the number of victims this legislation may address is unknown, and potentially quite large. Therefore, the fiscal impact on the Department is unknown. The correctional population impact is also unknown as offenders are not eligible for early release until granted clemency by the Governor based on petitions filed and an offender's program progress, a process that cannot be initiated until more than 5 years after enactment. The Department currently lacks the resources, training, curriculum, victim information, and funding to enact this proposal.
House Floor Amendment No. 1
Deletes provision that the Department of Corrections may enter an order releasing and discharging a participant in the Pathway to Community Program from mandatory supervised release if it determines that he or she is likely to remain at liberty without committing another offense.