State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) sponsored legislation to expand and reform the Du Quoin Impact Program.
Senate Bill 1861 would expand the existing impact program to include community service activities, cognitive behavioral programming, life skills, and reentry planning. The proposal also increases the length of the program from 120-180 days to a range of 365 days to 18 months.
“The Du Quoin Impact Incarceration Program was effectively shut down almost a year ago with inmates being moved to other facilities under the pretext of COVID-19 and inmate safety. To this day, that facility remains unnecessarily shuttered and underutilized,” said Sen. Bryant. “This legislation is about utilizing these facilities and expanding the program to help participants develop the skills needed to become productive members of society.”
The facility’s closure and the ongoing decrease in program participation inspired Senator Bryant to sponsor Senate Bill 1861. The legislation keeps the existing structure foundation of the program, but replaces some of the more outdated military boot camp requirements with reentry training and programs.
“As a state, we are not efficiently or effectively making use of a program that could help rehabilitate offenders and reduce crime,” said Sen. Bryant. “The program foundation is here. There’s no reason we shouldn’t take advantage of it.”
Under this legislation, the Department of Corrections will also have the authority to identify current inmates for the program that were not previously recommended when initially sentenced. Recommendations can be made by submitting the names of inmates to the State’s Attorney of the committing county for consideration.
Senate Bill 1861 passed out of the Senate on May 30, and will now head to the Governor for further action.