Illinois Department of Corrections Strategic Plan
The primary mission in producing a long-term Strategic Plan is to develop a proactive, forward-thinking strategy to administer initiatives that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Illinois Department of Corrections’ processes. The widespread growth of Illinois’ correctional populations has produced unintended consequences for the Department, creating an environment of constant change and fiscal uncertainty for our correctional administrators. As part of this plan, the Department’s executive staff will continue to discuss the issues and challenges that face the agency as well as the strategic goals necessary to ensure secure and effective management of Illinois’ prison system- both now and well into the future.
Pursuant to the Illinois Crime Reduction Act of 2009, the State of Illinois declared that it is the policy of the state to preserve public safety, reduce crime, and make the most effective use of correctional resources. The implementation of the elements of this act will change the way Illinois looks at offenders. The Act places greater emphasis on alternatives to incarceration and provides incentives to local communities that develop sustainable alternatives. Information is gathered on the offenders sentenced to incarceration to effectively determine their programming and placement needs paving the offender’s way to successful reentry into their community.
There are three elements in the Crime Reduction Act: The diversion of offenders from IDOC incarceration (Redeploy Illinois), the review of sentencing policies throughout the State recognizing disparities between jurisdictions (Sentencing Policy Advisory Council), and the utilization of validated tools and best practices to determine the most effective methods (Risk Assets Needs Assessment) for identifying a low risk offender and how their needs should be addressed to be more successful in the community.
In preparation for the implementation of the assessment tool, the Department is implementing this Strategic Plan. Several initiatives have been developed to address inmate classification, available bed space, segregation utilization, and reentry collaboration efforts. This framework puts in place the tools and programs needed to support a continuum of care for nearly 80,000 offenders and parolees.
It is imperative going forward that we take a systemic approach in terms of evaluating IDOC operations, program services and our medical and mental health care delivery systems. In an effort to operate at the highest efficiency level, we must take a holistic look at our entire organization. While IDOC is complex, it is also dynamic and evolving. This is a tremendous opportunity to bring together our talented workforce to affect positive change in a systematic and thoughtful way.
The Department needs to create a culture of staff and inmate participation in implementing the Strategic Plan initiatives. These initiatives have been developed to help foster such a culture and promote continued input from the people with a vested interest in producing effective results.