Sentencing policy is often driven by high-profile, extreme cases, but most of the offenders we incarcerate are not extreme cases. To focus the discussion on the Average Joe, SPAC created these snapshots of average offenders in several offense categories. Again, these snapshots have no predictive value. The snapshots are not meant to affect decisions in individual cases, nor are they descriptive of any one unique person. In each category, there are many people who fall outside the average profile. Nonetheless, the recurring themes in terms of race, age, educational attainment, and recidivism are important for understanding broad outcomes of our sentencing policies.
View the short SPAC Prison Animation to understand how admissions and length of stay determine the size of the prison population.
To illustrate how different offense classes consume resources, SPAC analyzed the data for the average number of exits in each class for 2011, 2012 and 2013.
IDOC Admissions, Exits, and Population Pie Charts highlights data from State Fiscal Year 2017 and June 30, 2017 Admissions data.
When SPAC learns of implementation progress, the color may change, but no verification of the information is conducted.
Who is the average inmate coming out of state prison? What crime did he or she commit? How long did he or she spend in the system? What was his or her experience? To begin answering these questions, SPAC analyzed state prison releases to create an average “profile” using the most often occurring characteristics, as well as average and median lengths of stay.