In addition to the prison sentence, when an inmate sentenced to prison from the court is ultimately released, they are required to be supervised for a period of time in the community under mandatory supervised release, or MSR, the length of which is specified under Illinois law by the felony class of the crime for which they were sentenced to prison (Summarized in Table 1). For inmates convicted of First Degree Murder or a Class X felony, for example, they must be supervised for 36 months on MSR following their release from prison, whereas those convicted of a Class 1 or 2 felony have 24 months of MSR, and those convicted of Class 3 or 4 felonies (the least serious of the felony offense classes in Illinois) have 12 months of MSR.
Once an adult female is sentenced to prison by the court, or returned to prison as a violator of their MSR, they are processed through the Reception and Classification Center (R&C) at the Dwight Correctional Center, in Dwight Illinois. Following this period in the R&C, where an inmate’s security classification is determined, along with other needs, they are then placed within an appropriate housing unit within one of Illinois’ three adult female prisons, including the Dwight Correctional Center, the Decatur Correctional Center, or the Lincoln Correctional Center.
The analyses presented in this report are intended to provide a general overview of trends in the number of adult females admitted to, released from, and incarcerated within Illinois’ prisons between SFY 1989 and 2010, the characteristics of these women and the crimes they have been sentenced to prison for, how these characteristics have changed over time, and how the characteristics of the females admitted to prison in Illinois are similar to, and different from, males admitted to Illinois’ prison system.
Total Admissions, Exits & End of the Year Populations of Females in IDOC
When examining trends and characteristics of prison populations, it is important to point out and understand the different ways the flow of inmates into and out of Illinois’ prisons are measured, since these different measures provide different perspectives on who goes to, and is in prison, and also helps to explain changes in the overall prison population. Generally, the flow of prison populations is measured through admissions to prison—how many individuals enter the prison
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