"A Welcoming Community of Faith Rooted in the Catholic Tradition"

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Press Release

 Office of Media and Communication

Evangelical Catholic
Diocese of the Northwest

Chicago Illinois 60617-8388
Office: 773-721-5383   Fax: 773-721-2581

 January 28, 2012

 Chicago, Illinois - For Immediate Release 



Bishop urges Illinois Governor and Illinois DOC to reinstate MGT policy for inmates  

The attached is a copy of Bishop James Wilkowski’s letter to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn requesting reinstatement of MGT policy.


William R. Morton
Office of Media and Public Relations
(T) 773.721.5353      (C) 773.998.2014





“A Welcoming Community of Faith Rooted in the Catholic Tradition”



The Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest
Post Office Box 178388   Chicago Illinois 60617-8388
Office:  773-721-5383     Fax:  773-721-2581    Email:  diocesenw@evangelicalcatholicchurch.org

Office of the Bishop


February 9, 2012

The Honorable Pat Quinn
Governor for the State of Illinois
207 State House
Springfield Illinois 62706

 Dear Governor Quinn:

I am writing to you this day regarding the serious overcrowding in our Illinois prisons.

I believe that these conditions can be addressed by the restoration of the Meritorious Good Time (MGT) policy which permits an earlier release of those incarcerated for their good behavior while in our correctional system.

For more than a quarter of a century, both Republican and Democratic administrations applied the MGT program without controversy to promote a safe correctional system by awarding up to 180 days credit off an inmate’s sentence for good behavior. This is a universally accepted correctional tool and Illinois law excludes any inmate serving a sentence for any violent crime from receiving any MGT credits.

In 2010 you elected to suspend the MGT program after it was used to release some in our correctional system before these individuals served any significant time within the Illinois Department of Corrections. This concern has since been remedied by the requirement that any inmate must served at least 60 days before they can begin to receive any MGT credit.

Since your suspension of MGT, Illinois has added 4,000 inmates to its total population going from 45,000 to 49,000 – a record high.

While every prison struggles with its population, medium and minimum security facilities, which mostly house lower level non-violent offenders, faces the most severe overcrowding leaving IDOC staff and administrators no choice but to pack inmates in unsuitable and unsanitary locations. Such conditions only promise to frustrate rehabilitation efforts, exhaust already limited resources and further create a more dangerous environment for inmates to live and IDOT staff to work.

I humbly propose that restoring MGT is an excellent tool in the hopes to achieving the goal of rehabilitation of those in our correctional systems, for our common goal must be towards correction and rehabilitation. Otherwise, we will have failed the entire correctional system.

I believe that the People of Illinois wish for our elected leaders to the tough on crime and also to be smart on crime.

I am petitioning your moral and political leadership at this time to restore the MGT program.

I thank you for your consideration.

I remain,


Respectfully Yours in Christ,


 James Alan Wilkowski
Evangelical Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of the Northwest



“A Welcoming Community of Faith Rooted in the Catholic Tradition”



Diocesan Church Office
Post Office Box 178388  Chicago Illinois  60617-8388
(T)  773-721-5383   (F)  773-721-2581