Since you announced Randle’s appointment just a little over a year ago, he has undertaken a number of important and overdue initiatives. The Ten Point-Plan for reformÂ at Tamms supermax prison, still being implemented, was applauded by advocates, politicians, and career corrections officers alike. Many of his other accomplishments have been less publicized but are equally significant:
- Randle has partnered with the to launch a major of IDOCâ€™s management of high-risk offenders in maximum-security institutions. Additionally, he is working with the to review IDOCâ€™s security management and critical incident procedures. This work is underway by grants from these organizations, with no cost to the state of Illinois.
- The first stage of a multi-stage, comprehensive overhaul of IDOCâ€™s multiple, obsolete computer systems is nearly completed. His work toward a modern, agile electronic information system is among the highest priorities for the IDOC, and should not be interrupted.
- Randle has taken important steps to improve the crisis of medical neglect in Illinois prisons, a system so defective that prisoners die from lack of care while in IDOC custody. Besides his responsiveness in working with advocates to reform the medical grievance procedures, he launched a pilot program to allow teleconferencing between inmates with HIV and hepatitis C to doctors at the University of Illinois Medical Center, thereby improving care while reducing transportation costs. Randle plans to expand this program to more prisons and other medical conditions.
- He is developing a five-year strategic plan to designate certain prisons for specialized vocational and educational programs and to create special units for offenders who are aged 50 or over, those with a history of substance abuse, and those with serious medical issues. These centralized and targeted facilities lower recidivism and save money by efficiently providing more services to more inmates.
- Randle has also taken the first steps to reduce correctional officers, has resulted in a reduction of more than $5 million in overtime costs in this fiscal year. He is committed to programs such as Redeploy Illinois, to divert short-term offenders to community-based sentencing and avoid the high costs and poor outcomes that come from incarceration in state prison for relatively minor offenses. and save money. His Employee Cost-Savings Suggestion Program has saved $2.5 million, and the hiring and training of more than 700 new
- Director Randle has been extremely active in assisting volunteer and charitable organizations gain access to the prisons. These individuals and groups â€“ from ministers to literacy aides to exercise instructorsÂ â€“Â play an essential role in the rehabilitation of prisoners, and past administrations have senselessly blocked them. By removing institutional obstacles to safe and effective volunteerism, we lower recidivism and strengthen communities at no cost to the state.
For all these reasons, we very much regret your decision to accept Randle’s resignation. As you know, the state of Illinois must starting adopting fiscally sound reform programs such as these. We urge you to support the new director in following through with the ideas, initiatives, and leadership of Michael Randle. We will be carefully monitoring her progress.