The Illinois Department of Corrections says the state’s prison population dropped by 9 percent this past year.
That’s a good start toward Governor Bruce Rauner’s goal of a 25 percent reduction by 2025.
But Jennifer Vollen-Katz, with prison watchdog the John Howard Association, says the hard part is still to come.
“The 9 percent reduction is great, but the next 16 percent is going to be difficult,” she says. “We are really going to have to confront some things that are much more political and more divisive, like truth in sentencing and mandatory minimums.”