Letter-Jason Spyres

With $85 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, the credit rating agencies could no longer ignore Illinois’ fiscal mess. What’s worse is our state continues to perpetuate flawed policies that make no sense … the Illinois Department of Correction’s Earned Good Conduct Credit being the perfect example.

It is riddled with flaws, such as its eligibility requirements that leave many first-time, non-violent offenders unable to earn the same good-time credits that second-degree murderers routinely receive. And I could tell you more, but not within 250 words.

Full disclosure: I am serving a 30 year sentence for cannabis convictions and in no way do I approve of my prior mistakes. However, being in prison does not make my proposals any less valid. Democratic State Senator, Michael Frerichs, thought the research was commendable and House Republican Leader, Tom Cross, stated that expanding the EGC Credit to more non-violent offenders, “merits serious discussion.” The non-partisan Real Cost of Prisons Project supports such changes and has published the proposal. See realcostofprisons.org/writing and locate “Spyres: Letter to Quinn.”

Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 2621 which should return IDOC’s population back to 2009 levels but that still translates to a billion plus budget. Even the Sept. 16, 2012 State Journal Register proclaimed SB2621 will not be enough and we need to do more.

Please look into the proposal and ask your lawmakers and Governor Quinn, “why is it a bad idea?” And if they cannot answer, then ask when it will be implemented.

Jason Alan Spyres