(The Center Square) – After several Prisoner Review Board members were a no-show at a committee hearing Monday, Illinois Republicans are asking for more transparency.
The PRB, an independent 15-member body appointed by the governor, is responsible for releasing incarcerated people from prison. The board has the authority to grant and determine conditions of parole and notify victims and families when an inmate is going to be released from incarceration.
Four Prison Review Board members have continued to serve for nearly two years despite not being confirmed by the Executive Appointments Committee.
“The chairman of that committee was told to bring these people before this committee, and yet we heard everybody else that was supposed to be on the list, just not the parole board,” said Sen. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, at a news conference Monday, the final day of the spring legislative session.
Per the Illinois Constitution, the appointees are required to testify before the Senate Executive Appointments Committee to be confirmed or rejected with 60 legislative session days of their appointment.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s press secretary Jordan Abudayyeh called an earlier news conference on the subject “grandstanding” by Republicans.
Illinois spends an estimated $22,000 in operational expenses to incarcerate one person for a year. The figure rises to $37,000 when accounting for capital costs and employee benefits, including pensions.
State Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, said he has shared his concerns with state Sen. Laura Murphy, R-Des Plaines, chair of the Senate Executive Appointments Committee, but to no avail.
“How much longer is the state legislature going to sit by, while Governor Pritzker, the most dangerous governor in America, has appointees unaccountable to the legislature?” said Plummer.