August 19, 2016
To the Honorable
The Illinois Senate,
99th General Assembly:
should be proud of the steps we have taken together to reform our criminal
justice system. These efforts will reduce incarceration and recidivism rates,
help incarcerated individuals to reenter the community and obtain gainful
employment, and reduce costs to taxpayers. I thank the members of the General
Assembly for being partners in this work.
law permits the Attorney General to bring legal action against formerly
incarcerated individuals to recover incarceration-related expenses on behalf of
the Department of Corrections. Senate Bill 2465 would stop this practice
altogether. Today I return the bill with specific recommendations for change.
believe that collection efforts hinder an individual’s successful reentry into
the community. Many ex-offenders have few if any assets and struggle to find
jobs to care for themselves or their families.
practice, though, the State’s power to recover costs is rarely used: the State
collected approximately $355,000 total in Fiscal Year 2015. While I agree that
this power should be used sparingly and judiciously, there are circumstances
when it is warranted. Violent offenders with significant assets should
compensate their victims and the State. For example, the State used this power
to stop serial killer John Wayne Gacy from profiting while in prison.
changes recommended below would protect low-income persons, while still
enabling the State to pursue wealthier or violent offenders. The Department
would establish a standard for determining whether a person has sufficient
means, whether recovery by the State would inhibit the person’s reintegration
into the community, and whether the nature of the crime (such as a violent
crime) warrants recovery efforts. The Department’s proposed rules would be
subject to public comment and review by the Joint Committee on Administrative
Rules. The State would then be prohibited from pursuing recovery from persons except
as allowed by that rule. This strikes the proper balance between protecting
taxpayers and facilitating successful post-incarceration reentry.
pursuant to Section 9(e) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I
hereby return Senate Bill 2465, entitled “AN ACT concerning criminal law”, with
the following specific recommendations for change:
On page 1, by replacing line 5 with the
following, “changing Section 3-7-6 as follows:”; and
On page 1, by replacing lines 6 through 23 with
Sec. 3-7-6. Reimbursement for expenses.
(a) Responsibility of committed persons. For the purposes of this
Section, "committed persons" mean those persons who through judicial
determination have been placed in the custody of the Department on the basis of
a conviction as an adult. Committed persons shall be responsible to reimburse
the Department for the expenses incurred by their incarceration at a rate to be
determined by the Department in accordance with this Section.
(1) Committed persons shall fully cooperate with the Department by
providing complete financial information for the purposes under this Section.
(2) The failure of a committed person to fully cooperate as provided for
in clauses (3) and (4) of subsection (a-5) shall be considered for purposes of
a parole determination. Any committed person who willfully refuses to cooperate
with the obligations set forth in this Section may be subject to the loss of
sentence credit towards his or her sentence of up to 180 days.
(a-3) The Department shall establish by rule a standard for determining
when to seek recovery of incarceration costs. The purpose of the standard is to
protect persons convicted of non-violent offenses without substantial assets or
income from recovery efforts that could inhibit their successful reintegration
into the community, while enabling the Department to seek recovery from persons
who were convicted of violent offenses or who have sufficient assets or income
that could be applied to pay for the costs of their incarceration. Notwithstanding
any other provision of law to the contrary, neither the Attorney General nor
the Department shall seek to recover incarceration costs except as permitted by
the standard established by rule.
(a-5) Assets information form.
(1) The Department shall develop a form, which shall be used by the
Department to obtain information from all committed persons regarding assets of
(2) In order to enable the Department to determine the financial status
of the committed person, the form shall provide for obtaining the age and
marital status of a committed person, the number and ages of children of the
person, the number and ages of other dependents, the type and value of real
estate, the type and value of personal property, cash and bank accounts, the
location of any lock boxes, the type and value of investments, pensions and
annuities and any other personalty of significant cash value, including but not
limited to jewelry, art work and collectables, and all medical or dental
insurance policies covering the committed person. The form may also provide for
other information deemed pertinent by the Department in the investigation of a
committed person's assets.
(3) Upon being developed, the form shall be submitted to each committed
person as of the date the form is developed and to every committed person who
thereafter is sentenced to imprisonment under the jurisdiction of the
Department. The form may be resubmitted to a committed person by the Department
for purpose of obtaining current information regarding the assets of the
(4) Every committed person shall complete the form or provide for
completion of the form and the committed person shall swear under oath or
affirm that to the best of his or her knowledge the information provided is
complete and accurate.
(b) Expenses. The rate at which sums to be charged for the expenses
incurred by a committed person for his or her confinement shall be computed by
the Department as the average per capita cost per day for all inmates of that
institution or facility for that fiscal year. The average per capita cost per
day shall be computed by the Department based on the average per capita cost
per day for the operation of that institution or facility for the fiscal year
immediately preceding the period of incarceration for which the rate is being
calculated. The Department shall establish rules and regulations providing for
the computation of the above costs, and shall determine the average per capita
cost per day for each of its institutions or facilities for each fiscal year.
The Department shall have the power to modify its rules and regulations, so as
to provide for the most accurate and most current average per capita cost per
day computation. Where the committed person is placed in a facility outside the
Department, the Department may pay the actual cost of services in that
facility, and may collect reimbursement for the entire amount paid from the
committed person receiving those services.
(c) Records. The records of the Department, including, but not limited
to, those relating to: the average per capita cost per day for a particular
institution or facility for a particular year, and the calculation of the
average per capita cost per day; the average daily population of a particular
Department correctional institution or facility for a particular year; the
specific placement of a particular committed person in various Department
correctional institutions or facilities for various periods of time; and the
record of transactions of a particular committed person's trust account under
Section 3-4-3 of this Act; may be proved in any legal proceeding, by a
reproduced copy thereof or by a computer printout of Department records, under
the certificate of the Director. If reproduced copies are used, the Director must
certify that those are true and exact copies of the records on file with the
Department. If computer printouts of records of the Department are offered as
proof, the Director must certify that those computer printouts are true and
exact representations of records properly entered into standard electronic
computing equipment, in the regular course of the Department's business, at or
reasonably near the time of the occurrence of the facts recorded, from
trustworthy and reliable information. The reproduced copy or computer printout
shall, without further proof, be admitted into evidence in any legal
proceeding, and shall be prima facie correct and prima facie evidence of the
accuracy of the information contained therein.
(d) Authority. Except as provided in subsection (a-3), the
Director, or the Director's designee, may, when he or she knows or reasonably
believes that a committed person, or the estate of that person, has assets
which may be used to satisfy all or part of a judgment rendered under this Act,
or when he or she knows or reasonably believes that a committed person is
engaged in gang-related activity and has a substantial sum of money or other
assets, provide for the forwarding to the Attorney General of a report on the
committed person and that report shall contain a completed form under
subsection (a-5) together with all other information available concerning the
assets of the committed person and an estimate of the total expenses for that
committed person, and authorize the Attorney General to institute proceedings to
require the persons, or the estates of the persons, to reimburse the Department
for the expenses incurred by their incarceration. The Attorney General, upon
authorization of the Director, or the Director's designee, shall institute
actions on behalf of the Department and pursue claims on the Department's
behalf in probate and bankruptcy proceedings, to recover from committed persons
the expenses incurred by their confinement. For purposes of this subsection
(d), "gang-related" activity has the meaning ascribed to it in
Section 10 of the Illinois Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act.
(e) Scope and limitations.
(1) No action under this Section shall be initiated more than 2 years
after the release or death of the committed person in question.
(2) The death of a convicted person, by execution or otherwise, while
committed to a Department correctional institution or facility shall not act as
a bar to any action or proceeding under this Section.
(3) The assets of a committed person, for the purposes of this Section,
shall include any property, tangible or intangible, real or personal, belonging
to or due to a committed or formerly committed person including income or
payments to the person from social security, worker's compensation, veteran's
compensation, pension benefits, or from any other source whatsoever and any and
all assets and property of whatever character held in the name of the person,
held for the benefit of the person, or payable or otherwise deliverable to the
person. Any trust, or portion of a trust, of which a convicted person is a
beneficiary, shall be construed as an asset of the person, to the extent that
benefits thereunder are required to be paid to the person, or shall in fact be
paid to the person. At the time of a legal proceeding by the Attorney General
under this Section, if it appears that the committed person has any assets
which ought to be subjected to the claim of the Department under this Section,
the court may issue an order requiring any person, corporation, or other legal
entity possessed or having custody of those assets to appropriate any of the
assets or a portion thereof toward reimbursing the Department as provided for
under this Section. No provision of this Section shall be construed in
violation of any State or federal limitation on the collection of money
(4) Nothing in this Section shall preclude the Department from applying
federal benefits that are specifically provided for the care and treatment of a
committed person toward the cost of care provided by a State facility or
private agency.”; and
By deleting pages
2 through 18.
these changes, Senate Bill 2465 will have my approval. I respectfully request