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Barksdale v. Franzen

decided: February 24, 1983.

JAMES BARKSDALE, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
GAYLE M. FRANZEN AND JOHN B. GROVES, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 80-C-2981 -- Joel M. Flaum, Judge.

Wood and Coffey, Circuit Judges, and Timbers,*fn* Senior Circuit Judge.

Author: Coffey

COFFEY, Circuit Judge.

The plaintiff James Barksdale, an inmate incarcerated in an Illinois prison, brought this pro se action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the Illinois Department of Corrections violated his constitutional rights when it failed to subtract from his prison term the appropriate number of days of good time credit that he is allegedly entitled to under Illinois law. Barksdale, sentenced in 1973 to a term of 75 to 150 years, contends that Ill.Rev.Stat.ch. 38 § 1003-6-3 (1978) compels the Department of Corrections*fn1 to reduce his prison term not only on the "statutory and compensatory good time credit" basis (i.e. reduction of the prison term on a rate prescribed by the Department) but also on a "day-for-day good time" basis (i.e. one day reduction of the prison term for each day of good conduct). The District Court, 526 F. Supp. 1082, for the Northern District of Illinois rejected this argument for double good time credit and entered summary judgment in favor of the defendants. We affirm.

In 1972, the plaintiff Barksdale was convicted in an Illinois state court of rape and deviate sexual assault and received concurrent, indeterminate sentences of 50 to 100 years for the rape conviction and 10 to 14 years for the sexual assault conviction. While out on bond for these convictions, Barksdale committed a second crime of rape and another crime of deviate sexual assault. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to a term of 75 to 150 years for the second rape conviction and 4 to 14 years for the second deviate sexual assault conviction, with both sentences to run concurrently with each other and concurrently with the sentences earlier imposed for the 1972 convictions. Barksdale began serving these sentences in 1973 at the Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois.

To fully understand Barksdale's contentions, a review of the recent Illinois statutory and case law history of sentencing and good time credit is required. Prior to February 1, 1978, Illinois gave inmates good time credit under a formula known as the "statutory and compensatory" standard. The Illinois Supreme Court described the statutory and compensatory plan as follows:

"Until February 1, 1978, Illinois had a system of indeterminate sentences in which those committed to the Department of Corrections for commission of a felony were sentenced to minimum and maximum terms of imprisonment (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-1). Good-conduct credits were applied to the minimum term to advance the date of parole eligibility and to the maximum to advance the date beyond which a prisoner could not be incarcerated. The Department was required to prescribe, at a rate within its discretion, a schedule of good-conduct credits for good behavior (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1003-6-3). These were known as 'statutory good time credits.' The Department was also empowered to award good-conduct credits to prisoners who performed work assignments or participated in other Department programs (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 1003-12-5). These credits were known as 'compensatory good time credits. '"

Johnson v. Franzen, 77 Ill. 2d 513, 516, 397 N.E.2d 825, 826, 34 Ill. Dec. 153 (1979).

Under this formula, inmates were eligible to receive progressively increased "statutory good time credits" during their first six years of incarceration until they reached an annual maximum of six months of good time credit (exclusive of credit for participation in work programs) in the sixth year of their prison term. For example, a prisoner could earn one month of statutory good time during the first year of his sentence, two months during his second year, and so on, to the extent that his conduct merited the award of good time credit. During the sixth year and each subsequent year of imprisonment an inmate would be eligible for a maximum of six months statutory good time credit annually. Similarly, this formula of good time calculation provided that prisoners who performed work assignments would be eligible for "compensatory good time credit" at a rate of 7 and 1/2 days per month in addition to their statutory good time credit. See A.R. 813, 866, Regulations of the Illinois Department of Corrections; Partee v. Lane, 528 F. Supp. 1254, 1258 n.3 (N.D. Ill. 1981).

Effective February 1, 1978, the Illinois General Assembly amended the Unified Code of Corrections to replace the indeterminate sentencing plan with a fixed or determinate standard of sentences and amended ch. 38, § 1003-6-3 to provide for good time credit on a day-for-day basis:

"(a)(1) The Department of Corrections shall prescribe rules and regulations for the early release on account of good conduct of persons committed to the Department which shall be subject to review by the Prisoner Review Board.

(2) Such rules and regulations shall provide that the prisoner shall receive one day of good conduct credit for each day of service in prison for all classes of felonies other than where a sentence of 'natural life' has been imposed. Each day of good conduct credit shall reduce by one day the inmate's period of incarceration set by the court.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 38, § 1003-6-3(a)(1), (2) (1978).

During the period of February 1, 1978 to November 29, 1979, the Department of Corrections continued to apply the previous "statutory and compensatory good time credit" rule to all inmates convicted prior to February 1, 1978 serving indeterminate sentences, but applied the newly adopted day-for-day formula only to those prisoners sentenced after February 1, 1978 to determinate terms. The Illinois Supreme Court rejected ...


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