WAUKEGAN, Ill. – State Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, Chairperson of the Illinois House Appropriations-Public Safety Committee, is seeking answers from the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) following a report which details how people incarcerated in at least one IDOC facility say their applications for legally-earned ‘good time’ sentence reduction credits are being improperly ignored, delayed and denied by IDOC officials, including allegedly for political reasons.
“This is a nation of laws, and we need to be assured that personnel at correctional facilities are doing their jobs. And following the law is a big part of that,” Mayfield said. “Correctional officers have a tough job that certainly has to be done, and it’s important for them to know they have support. But that cannot and should not mean that we look the other way if and when standards are not being met.”
One senior IDOC official at a correctional facility in Galesburg allegedly stated while being interviewed that criminal justice reforms were responsible for rising crime rates, while also allegedly citing his personal opinion as justification for arbitrarily refusing to consider applications for sentence credits by people incarcerated there, who he allegedly referred to as “criminals”. That official denied these allegations.
The ‘good time’ credits, which are officially known as Earned Program Sentence Credits or Earned Discretionary Sentence Credits, are the result of an expansion in possible sentence credits for certain incarcerated people as part of the SAFE-T Act, which Mayfield helped pass in 2021.
“Incarcerated people are still people. Their rights are important, including their right not to remain imprisoned after the law says that they are eligible for release,” Mayfield said. “If people are not being released from incarceration when they should be, then we need to get to the bottom of why, make the necessary adjustments and ensure that there is accountability. I am continuing to monitor this issue and I will keep asking questions until we get satisfactory answers.”
Mayfield’s constituent service office is reachable at 847-599-2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
245-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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Waukegan, IL 60085
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