- What is Sentence Credit?
There are various forms of sentence credits available to offenders, however not all offenders are eligible for each type of credit. The three most common types of credit are Statutory Sentence Credit, Program Sentence Credit, and Supplemental Sentence Credit.
Statutory Sentence Credit refers to the percentage of time a determinate-sentenced offender must spend incarcerated. Offenders serve 50%, 75%, 85%, or 100% of their sentence, determined by statute, and based on the offense that was committed. For example, an offender who received a 4 year sentence for burglary would serve 50% of his sentence by statute, or 2 years. Offenders may lose statutory sentence credit based on negative behavior while in custody.
Program Sentence Credit refers to time earned by an offender for participation in education, life skills courses, behavioral modification, drug treatment, re-entry planning, or Illinois Correctional Industries programs. Not all offenders are eligible for programming credit; for instance, offenders convicted of violent and Class X crimes are not eligible. Offenders earn one-half day off their sentence for each day of participation in such programs if they successfully complete the programs (Example: if an eligible offender completes a drug treatment program that is 30-days in duration, he may be awarded 15-days off his sentence). Offenders may lose program sentence credit based on bad behavior while in custody.
Supplemental Sentence Credit (“SSC”) refers to credit of up to 180 days on an offender’s incarceration that can be issued as a result of an offender’s good conduct. This credit is at the sole discretion of the Director of the Department of Corrections or his designee. Similar to Statutory Sentence Credit and Program Sentence Credit, offenders may lose SSC based on their behavior while in custody.
In response to changes in the law regarding awards of sentence credit, revised administrative rules have been finalized and appear in the Illinois Register. Under the revised rules, review of offenders for an award of SSC is pursuant to 20 Ill. Adm. Code 107.210, “Awarding of Supplemental Sentence Credit.”
For an offender to be eligible for an award of SSC, first and foremost, he or she must have served more than 60 days within IDOC custody and be serving a sentence for offenses that are not excluded from an award pursuant to Section 3-6-3(a)(3) of the Code of Corrections. Additionally, some offenders, by the nature of their current commitment offenses, will only be eligible for up to 90 days of SSC pursuant to Section 3-6-3(a)(3) of the Code of Corrections.
There are additional requirements that must be met in order for an offender to be eligibility for an award of SSC. The offender:
must not be subject to review under the Sexually Violent Person’s Act,
must not have been found guilty of a 100 level disciplinary offense (violated while in custody) under 20 Ill. Adm. Code 504,
must not have any pending criminal charges committed during the current incarceration,
must not have been returned to the Department for a violation of his or her parole or mandatory supervised release during their current incarceration,
must not have voluntarily quit or have been terminated for disciplinary reasons from a boot camp program,
if recommended by a court, must have completed substance abuse treatment or been waived from the requirement by the Department, and
must have completed mandatory sex offender treatment (if necessary) or been waived of the requirement by the Department (if applicable).
It is important to note that even if an offender is potentially eligible for an award of SSC, the offender should have no outright expectation to receive an award.
Potentially eligible offenders should have no expectation of receiving an SSC award because, beyond the eligibility requirements noted above, the Department has the discretion to consider numerous other factors before finding an offender suitable for an award of SSC. As such, the Department may examine and consider numerous things including, but not limited to:
The offender’s complete master record file, including, but not limited to, sentencing material such as facts and circumstances of the holding offense, disciplinary records, and reports or recommendations made concerning the offender.
The offender’s risk assessment analysis (if available).
The offender’s history of conviction for violent crimes, as defined by the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act [725 ILCS 120].
The offender’s assignment performance while in the custody of the Department.
The offender’s educational or program performance and achievements while in the custody of the Department.
The offender’s service to the Department, community, or State.
The heroic action of the offender, such as saving the life of an employee or other offender.
The offender’s potential for rehabilitation.