Illinois, also known as the Land of Lincoln, our former president Abraham Lincoln that is, is the fifth most populated state in our country. It is surrounded by five other states and also borders with Lake Michigan. Illinois is also the home of one of our previous late presidents, Ronald Reagan.

Incarceration Rates and Costs
With a record high of over 50,000 inmates in Illinois it is an increase of about 4,000 from two years ago. With the number of inmates on the rise, the incarceration rate also goes up. An incarceration rate is how many inmates go to jail out of 100,000 citizens a month. Illinois' incarceration rate is 349 inmates going to jail every month out of a group of 100,000 citizens.

Some of the incarceration rates are due to different crimes such as the more popular larceny theft, burglary, and property crimes. Though other crimes such as murder, which has been steadily decreasing over the past couple of decades, and rape are not as common as these other crimes, they still happen at a high rate; murder being almost 800 people a year and rape being nearly 4,000 people per year.

Between 1995 and today Illinois incarceration costs have gone up over 70 percent and Illinois is now spending over 1.2 billion dollars a year on all of its inmates.

Over Crowding
Like most jails and prisons Illinois jails are experiencing overcrowding problems. Even with three new buildings from the 1980s, every space is being used in all of the jails. Handicap cells big enough for two handicapped inmates have four regular inmates and all other rooms are also filled to complete capacity. One jail even has cots set up in the infirmary and the gyms because they don't have enough regular cells to put them in.

Illinois' Biggest Crime Problem
Illinois' biggest crime problem takes place mostly in the famous city of Chicago.

Gangs have always been a major problem in Chicago and now it's worse than ever. Children as young as eleven who have an emotional weakness are being recruited to join gangs. They join gangs mostly to get the support and safety that they might not have felt at home. Though they may feel safety in a gang, what they are taught is not always right. They mostly learn to solve their problems with other people by fighting and violence.

When children are in gangs fights tend to break out often in schools when kids from different gangs disagree about something major or even small. There has even been a beating at a school that killed one teenager and was caught on video and is now all over the web. Not only have hundreds of kids and teens been hurt or killed in school, they are also harmed on the streets where most confrontations happen.

Thankfully there are people and places you can seek out to get help if you know a child, teenager or anyone who is in a situation like this. They do not have to live the life of crime to get by in life and they need to know that someone out there truly cares about them enough to teach them of a better way to live.

Finding Help in Facing a Criminal Charge
If you or somebody you know is in a court battle you might be interested in learning more about the jail system. To learn about that jail you can find comments and articles from inmates, people who work at the jail, or people who have visited the jail at

The first step, though, is finding a good lawyer. Make sure you always seek out a competent lawyer to get the best possible chance of representation. If the court ends in a conviction you will be aware of what goes on in the jail that your or the person you know will be going to.

Illinois Jails