The Illinois impact incarceration program, more commonly referred to as "boot camp", is a program within the Illinois Department of Corrections that allows eligible offenders sentenced to prision the opportunity to significantly reduce their sentence. It is referred to as boot camp because the program is run like a military stye boot camp.
Most offenders entering the program are not able to get felony probation for a variety of reasons and are, therefore, facing a prison sentence. Boot camp allows its successful participants to be home after approximately 6 months, rather than serve the actual sentence with which they initially entered the Illinois Department of Corrections.
If the offender cannot successful complete the program, he/she will then be required to finish out their remaining sentence. Those who do successfully complete the program and are discharged home, still remain under the control of prision authorities because they will be on parole. If they violate any parole conditions, they can be returned to prison to serve the balance of the original sentence.
Elibility for the program depends on a several factors. The most common include the following:
the person cannot be older than 35 years of age,
certain criminal offenses are excluded, such as any class X offense, certain crimes of violence, and sexual assault crimes,
the sentence imposed cannot exceed 8 years, and
the person must be physically and mentally fit.
It is also important to understand that the person will enter the Illinois Department of Corrections with a "recommendation" from the judge that he/she be placed within the impact incarceration program. The Department of Corrections has final approval of the placement of the person into the boot camp program. It is very uncommon, though, for a recommended and eligible person not to be placed into the program.
As a practicing criminal defense lawyer in Joliet, Will County, Illinois, I have successfully used the Illinois Impact Incarceration program to significantly reduce sentences for various clients, otherwise, looking at lengthy prison sentences. It is a great tool to be used in the proper circumstance.