According to the most recent data available from the Illinois Department of Corrections, which is dated from June of this year, there are more than 40,700 criminals currently in the Illinois prison system. One of the biggest reasons why the Illinois prison population has grown so dramatically over the past 30 years or so is because of the increase in convictions for Class 4 felonies, which are typically non-violent theft or drug crimes. Having so many prisoners puts a strain on both inmates and staff, and it increases the costs associated with managing the prisons. Because the prison population in Illinois is beginning to take a toll on the system, the state has developed various alternatives to prison sentences for certain charges.
This option is available to non-violent drug offenders to help counsel them and rehabilitate them, rather than send them to jail. The main purpose of this program is to help non-violent offenders understand the dangers and the harm that drugs cause to themselves and others. The program also makes sure that the offenders understand what the consequences are of continued drug use.
Another option for those charged with drug crimes is the first-offender probation program. Each of the acts detailing major drug laws have provisions for specialized probation. Only those who are convicted of lower level drug crimes and have not been charged with a drug crime in the past are eligible for this program. At the judge’s discretion, he or she may require things like drug testing or behavioral treatment.
Second Chance Probation
Those who have not previously used a diversion program, but have been charged with non-violent theft and drug related Class 3 and 4 felonies. Certain requirements may be imposed by judges such as drug testing or education. Upon successful completion of the program, the charges will be dismissed.
Have You Been Charged With a Crime? You May Be Able to Avoid Incarceration
Going to jail is not on anyone’s bucket list. If you have had a momentary lapse in judgement and you committed a non-violent crime, you may be eligible for options other than incarceration. Talking with an experienced Joliet criminal defense lawyer is your best option if you are facing charges for such crimes. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba can help you determine which program or programs may be available to you. Call the office at 815-740-4025 to set up a free consultation.