Why it is Imperative that Incarcerated Illinoisans Have a Right to Review Their “Master Files” and a Way to Challenge any Inaccurate Information Contained within Them. By Joseph Dole

The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) maintains what is called a “master file” on every incarcerated individual under its control. Among other things, the master file contains a statement of facts about the crime he or she was convicted of, their sentence calculation (or mittimus) sheet, their disciplinary history, grievances they have filed, and much more. During clemency proceedings, the Prisoner Review Board has unfettered access to the master file of any incarcerated person seeking clemency. If a parole system were to be reinstated in Illinois, any parole board would most likely have unfettered access as well, just as they …Read More →

Why people who have been incarcerated for long periods and the elderly, even if convicted of violent offenses, deserve special consideration in any parole system. By Joseph Dole

    The main goal of any parole system should be to ensure that people aren’t kept incarcerated past the point that they cease posing a threat to society. This ensures both the safety of society and that limited resources are not wasted on over-incapacitation. Having incarcerated so many millions of our fellow citizens for so long, we now have reams of data showing who is most or least likely to commit a new crime if released from prison. Unfortunately, the facts are often drowned out by rhetoric and stigma. The facts are that: 1) people in prison for violent …Read More →