IDOC: Tougher Gun Laws Would Boost Overcrowding

By: AP
By: AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Legislation cracking down on Illinois gun crime could add to the state's prison crowding and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports a proposal backed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel could add nearly 3,900 inmates to the prison system.

The measure would increase minimum sentences.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says the state would need at least one new prison. He adds that the extra inmates would mean an additional $700 million in operations costs.

Rikeesha Phelon is a spokeswoman for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton. She says he's concerned about violent crime, but is evaluating the measure that's being sponsored by State Rep. Mike Zalewski.

She says the state isn't at a point where "additional costs can be overlooked."


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