The Illinois House has adjourned without voting on pending legislation that would increase mandatory-minimum prison sentences for illegal gun possession. This is a victory for safe, smart, cost-effective criminal justice law and policy.
Through decades of passing laws and supporting policies that have filled our prisons with an unprecedented number of inmates, we have built a prison health care system without asking difficult and yet fundamental questions about what we have created.
Quinn is smart to look to the state's prison system to save taxpayer money. But to have a real impact on the state's fiscal health, Illinois must look beyond closing prisons and work toward ending our over-reliance on incarceration.
A citizens' group has been appointed to find places to cut the budget. One of the first places they should look is the Department of Corrections, which spends a shocking $1.4 billion each year to lock up 45,000 people.