About the Illinois Department of Corrections
"The mission of the Department of Corrections is to protect the public from criminal offenders through a system of incarceration and supervision which securely segregates offenders from society, assures offenders of their constitutional rights and maintains programs to enhance the success of offenders' reentry into society."
The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) was established in 1970. During its creation, the agency combined administration of all state prisons, juvenile centers and adult and juvenile parole services under one direction for the first time. The creation of the training academy followed in 1974, which helped set the foundation of training the best staff possible for the agency’s correctional facilities. On July 1, 2006, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice was formed, which separated the adult and juvenile corrections systems.
When IDOC originated, Illinois only operated seven adult facilities. Since that time, stricter laws have resulted in increased sentencing and longer terms. To address this steady increase in the inmate population, the agency today operates 26 adult correctional centers as well as 2 boot camps and 4 adult transition centers, and 9 work camps.
Safety is at the forefront of agency operations with an emphasis on frontline staff to protect and control inmates. A number of initiatives to ensure the safety of employees and inmates have yielded significant results. Security level designations, controlled line movement, inmate property boxes and increased monitoring of security threat groups have contributed to a more secure Illinois prison system.
IDOC’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget totals $1,222,900,000. The agency employs approximately 10,786 employees and is responsible for the management of nearly 49,000 adult inmates and supervision of 27,500 parolees.
The recidivism rate for Fiscal Year 2011 in Illinois is 47.0 percent, which is a 6-year low for the agency. While the current rate is down, we must continue to reduce this number. In order to do that, IDOC must take a three-prong approach.
1st - The agency must reduce the number of offenders coming into prison. Forty-seven percent of the offenders who are released from IDOC have been in the department’s custody for six month or less. It is the agency’s belief that these mostly, low-level non-violent offenders can be punished in less expensive community options.
2nd - For those offenders who come to prison, the agency will need to expand and build on successful rehabilitative programs within the department, such as Sheridan and Southwestern Illinois models.
3rd - The agency must continue the work of its community-based partners and other reentry supports like the department’s adult transitional centers and day reporting centers.
Today, inmates and parolees are now given more opportunities for successful reentry into society than ever before.
All 26 correctional centers participate in reentry summits. The summits help address reintegration and recidivism by promoting relationships between ex-offenders, community service providers, policy experts and government agencies. Topics covered include finance and economics, religion, spirituality, mental health and physical well-being, employment, housing and education as it relates to ex-offenders. Resource fairs also introduce participants to agencies that can help them with jobs, housing, life skills and other needs after they are released from prison.
The IDOC Parole Program addresses public safety and enhances parole supervision on the streets through increased monitoring and graduated sanctions. All parolees receive direct supervision in the community. The Parole Division has increased its parole agent numbers and contact with parolees as they return to the community, as well as has case management programs and specialized parole surveillance units.
IDOC has an aggressive sex offender parole supervision program and specially trained agents supervise the state's paroled sex offenders. The department has implemented a Global Positioning System, which uses satellite technology to track high-risk sex offender parolee movement.
The department has enhanced the community reentry process through its development of the Community Support Advisory Council (CSAC) in high-impact areas of the state where a large majority of parolees return. CSACs are community-based partnerships designed to work collaboratively with parole and other existing community resources to develop wraparound services for parolees, while assisting other groups with building community capacity to develop their own resources.
Launched in 2010, another reentry initiative developed by parole are Summit of Hope events, which provide community expos of services and resources to assist ex-offender reintegrate safely into the community to reduce recidivism. The Summit of Hope is an invitation only event for those local parolees in each community. The event is designed to bring the community together, gather all resources available, and put them under one roof in providing a one-stop environment where parolees can obtain the necessary assistance to move past the barriers which prevent them from success.
As an added focus on community reentry, IDOC assists veterans who are currently incarcerated through the Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program. The program serves to support reentry by accessing the strengths and needs of veteran offenders and identifying programs and services to support their transition into society. The program is in collaboration between IDOC, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the Federal Department of Labor. About 18 months prior to release, incarcerated veterans are offered the opportunity to participate in the Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program. The program includes educational modules, employment workshops and counseling and linkage to other benefits and programs, such as health services, housing arrangements and obtaining I.D. cards.
Additionally, the agency has work camp crews which provide thousands of hours each year toward community service projects and disaster relief efforts.
Illinois Correctional Officer of the Year
Illinois Department of Corrections Fallen Heroes
IDOC Advisory Board
Illinois Correctional Industries