Criminal Justice Reform

Here at LauraLaw, we like to keep up with new developments in criminal defense, especially changes that may help current or former clients. Illinois legislators from both sides of the aisle have joined forces in the name of criminal justice reform. Recommendations from the Governor’s Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Commission lead to the creation of 3 new bills.

  1. Senate Bill 3164 addresses pre-sentencing reports. It requires a review of the reports as well as an explanation of why incarceration is appropriate for certain offenders. Offenders with no prior prison convictions or probation sentences are routinely incarcerated, which puts them at a higher risk of recidivism and is an inefficient use of prison resources. This legislation could cut down on the number of non-violent, first-time offenders who are incarcerated and provide alternative solutions.
  2. Senate Bill 3368 deals with state identification for offenders. If the bill passes, the Secretary of State and the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) will be required to work together to provides state identification for offenders. This will help offenders transition more easily into post-incarceration life and, hopefully, make them less susceptible to reoffending. It is an easy thing to take for granted, but not having a state identification card can be a barrier to job searching, opening a bank account, voting, obtaining medical treatment, and much more.
  3. Senate Bill 3294 expands the use of electronic monitoring to help transition offenders back into society. Electronic monitoring protects public safety by allowing the IDOC to keep track of and supervise offenders. This bill focuses the IDOC’s programming and resources toward reducing recidivism.

This legislation represents a larger shift in criminal justice reform nationwide. Multiple states are creating or expanding programs with the goal of reducing recidivism, instead of focusing solely on punishment.

If you are charged or may with charged with a crime and need representation, contact us here at LauraLaw.

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