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What Crimes Are Most Commonly Committed In Illinois?Crime is a big issue in Illinois, especially in Chicago and the surrounding geographical areas. Hundreds of arrests are made every day, and convictions are made all the time. Across the state, the Illinois Department of Corrections is home to more than 45,000 inmates, who have been convicted of a number of different crimes. According to an article in the Huffington Post, the top 10 crimes that inmates have committed in Illinois include:

  1. Homicide. The number one crime committed by inmates in the Illinois prison system is homicide. The killing of another person accounts for more than 18 percent of the inmate population in Illinois.
  2. Offenses involving controlled substances. Possession, manufacturing, distribution, and trafficking of controlled substances and other drug violations of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act account for 17.5 percent of the Illinois state inmate population.
  3. Sexual assault. Just under 10 percent of the total Illinois inmate population is in jail for sexual assault offenses.
  4. Assault. Assault is the next most frequently committed offense by Illinois inmates, with approximately eight percent of inmates being in jail for assault offenses.
  5. Weapon offenses. Nearly six and a half percent of Illinois inmates are in jail for weapons-related offenses. This could include using weapons in conjunction with committing other crimes.
  6. Burglary. Breaking into a building and stealing something or committing a felony is a crime that many individuals get in trouble for. Just under six percent of inmates are doing time for a burglary conviction.
  7. Armed robbery. When robbery is committed with the threat or use of a weapon, it constitutes armed robbery. Over five and a half percent of Illinois state inmates are in jail for armed robbery.
  8. Residential burglary. Breaking into a house or dwelling of another without permission is a serious crime. Of the Illinois prison population, just under four and a half percent of inmates are in prison for committing residential burglary.
  9. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DUI is serious business, especially when someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of the DUI. Just under three and a half percent of inmates are in jail for a DUI offense.
  10. Robbery. Just over three percent of Illinois inmates are in jail for committing robbery.

These 10 crimes account for over 82 percent of the reason why inmates are in the state prison system. If you have been charged with drug crimes, burglary, shoplifting, theft, or other offenses, and are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Facing Jail Time? Let Us Help

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Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, criminal penaltiesThis firm has reported on criminal justice and sentencing matters multiple times in the past. From mandatory minimums to sentencing tools, it seems the sentencing structure in Illinois is in the process of an overhaul. Media reports provide further evidence of this in its description of the apparent cultural change going on in regards to criminal sentencing in the Illinois General Assembly.

A New Approach

In the past, Illinois lawmakers’ approach to dealing with crime involved imposing harsher penalties for their commission. The thought was that the enhanced penalty would effectively address the problem; however, lawmakers are starting to see that that is not necessarily the case. Despite the idea that harsher penalties for certain crimes often seemed like a good idea, lawmakers are starting to reject that notion, as evidenced by the significant decline in the number of sentencing enhancement bills that they have attempted to pass in recent years.

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Posted on in Sentencing

Illinois defense attorney, sentencing guidelines, Illinois criminal lawyer,Most people who have not had dealings with the criminal justice system base their knowledge of that system on what they see on television. Unfortunately, television depictions of criminal law are not always accurate, and even when they are, they cannot possibly represent the criminal law of every state because every state has different laws. One example of this issue has to do with parole. People assume because of television that when someone is released from prison, he or she is released on parole. However, in Illinois, that is not the case. Illinois eliminated parole (except for those people who were sentenced long enough ago that parole was a possibility when they were sentenced) and replaced it with supervised release, a different system entirely.

Who is Subject to Supervised Release?

Illinois statute requires a program known as mandatory supervised release. The statute says that whenever someone is sentenced to prison and that sentence is not one of natural life, “every sentence includes a term in addition to the term of imprisonment.” If a person was sentenced under the law in effect before February 1, 1978, then that term is one of parole, just like is seen on TV. If the person was sentenced under the laws in effect after that date, the term is one of “mandatory supervised release.”

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mandatory minimum sentenceDefendants who are convicted of certain types of crimes – including murder, sex offenses, and drug crimes – face sentences that often include mandatory minimum incarceration time. These are minimum periods of incarceration that leave very little room for judicial discretion or leniency in their imposition, and can amount to decades spent in jail for the defendants.

The intended purposes that are achieved by such mandatory minimum sentences include deterrence, protecting the public, and punishment of the perpetrator. However, such lengthy mandatory sentences also have indirect effects that ripple outward from the defendant. As a recent article discussed, mandatory minimum sentences involve collateral damage to children of defendants who are forced to parent from prison.

A Wave of Incarcerated Parents

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