Can An Individual Be In Custody Despite Enjoying Considerable Freedom ?

In People v. Campa, 353 Ill. App. 3d 178, 818 N.E.2d 787, 288 Ill. Dec. 852 (2004), the appellate court held that a defendant participating in the day reporting program was "in custody" for purposes of the speedy trial provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (725 ILCS 5/103-5 (West 2000)), which generally requires that a defendant in custody be tried within 120 days. The court held that because the statute did not define "custody," the legislature must have intended the term to have its ordinary and popularly understood meaning. Looking to the definition of "custody" in Black's Law Dictionary (Black's Law Dictionary 347 (5th ed. 1979)), the court adopted an elastic definition of the term. The court found that the defendant was "in custody" because he remained under the control of the sheriff's department, which retained the power to imprison him. It was the sheriff's department, and not the court, that determined whether the defendant was eligible for day reporting and whether he complied with reporting conditions. Discussing the case law, the court found that "an individual can be in custody despite enjoying considerable freedom." Campa, 353 Ill. App. 3d at 184.