Why this petition matters
Help Abolish Life Without Parole Sentences!
On February 1, 1978, Illinois made one of its most significant changes to its criminal justice scheme. As of that date, all sentences imposed upon individuals convicted of criminal offenses were made determinate – that is, individuals were sentenced to a specific number of years or days, and, generally speaking , the individual would serve that time period incarcerated.
Prior to 1978, all sentences were indeterminate. Under the indeterminate scheme, you would see sentences of ranges (like a sentence of 100-300 years), and unless and until an individual reached the maximum, his release would be at the discretion of the parole board. The range of numbers had very little meaning, however, as after a much shorter period of time (usually in the neighborhood of 10 years), the Prisoner Review Board (PRB) would annually determine whether the individual should be released.
The individuals incarcerated serving indeterminate sentences in Illinois came to be known as “C-numbers.”
In 1978, when the law changed, this group consisted of roughly 16,500 individuals.Almost forty years later, “C-numbers” still exist in the Illinois prison population.
There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 162 C-numbers still incarcerated in IDOC.
As you might imagine, the small group that remains consists of some of the most elderly inmates in the Illinois prison population. Many are sick or wheelchair bound. It is hard to imagine they pose any real risk of re-offending. Lets help get the remaining C-Numbers home to their families.
The Prison Review Board is still refusing to grant parole or a determinate sentence for the remaining "C-Numbers." This is a clear example of modern day mass incarceration. We, who sign this petition call for:
The Prison Review Board to grant parole to the remaining "C-Numbers" and to abolish life without parole sentences!
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- Prisoner Review Board