Support HB 531 has PASSED and is on to the Governor
HB531 allows for the review of sentences meted out to felons convicted while under the age of 21. Time served will be 10-20 years before review for parole, depending on the seriousness of the crime. This replaces a practice of incarcerating youth offenders for life without review. This bill passed the Senate in May of 2017 and, with your encouragement, the House moved the bill forward and passed it last week. It goes to the governor. NOTE: Currently Illinois only has Mandatory Supervised Release (MSR) which doesn't have an option to shorten sentences.
For further information from Restore Justice on this bill please click below:
04 DEC HB531: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here is the condensed version:
What is HB531?
HB531 is only a first step to creating new opportunities for parole.
Passed both chambers by a small margin with bipartisan support after years of consensus-building by the bill’s sponsors.
IL State’s Attorney Assn. and victim rights groups became neutral after negotiations, were opposed before.
Prospective only (no one currently incarcerated is eligible) - key point for opponents to become neutral.
Creates mid-sentence parole consideration for those 20 or under at time of crime.
For most, consideration can happen after 10 years of actual incarceration, with additional consideration hearings at 15 and 20 years if denied release.
For first-degree murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault, consideration after 20 years of actual incarceration, with additional consideration at 30.
The bill does not apply to (a) natural life, (b) predatory criminal sexual assault or (c) murder of a police officer (or other peace officers)
Provides attorneys to indigent applicants.
Allows PRB to fully investigate and allow supervised release.
Why isn’t the bill retroactive?
Key stakeholders in law enforcement and in the victim rights community would actively oppose any retroactive legislation, making passage impossible.
State’s Attorneys assert that legislated retroactivity is unconstitutional. While many legal experts disagree, this argument has not been resolved in the minds of key legislative leaders.
Retroactivity impacts more than parole; creating retroactive application of all reforms requires a bigger movement, RJI and partners are actively building.
Sponsors wanted to start the process of returning parole to IL with a limited scope, then utilize legislative process to expand parole opportunities over time.
Sponsors and stakeholders wanted to make sure that youth coming into court in 2019 would begin to experience benefit of knowing a chance for parole in their future, generating opportunities for rehabilitation; could reduce negative incidents for as they enter custody.
Bills for action
These bills will be before the IL legislative body for the 2018 season. Please follow the bills by the clickable titles and contact your legislators through http://www.ilga.gov/
APPROVED - Gov. Rauner SIGNED 8/20
PASS :: SB3388 Expand Alternatives to Incarceration!
SB3388 expands eligibility for Adult Redeploy Illinois to all probation-eligible individuals, not just those charged with so-called “nonviolent” offenses. This bill will help decrease the reliance on incarceration and decrease overcrowding in IL prisons
STALLED - In House rules committee
OPPOSE :: SB1980 Will Increase Pretrial Incarceration
SB1980, pushed by Sheriff Dart, is an ineffective bail reform effort and will simply expand the power of sheriff’s and courts to keep people incarcerated.
Is stalled in the Rules Committee of the House.
VETO - Gov Rauner added Amendments
PASS :: HB5104 End Medical Fees for Prisoners!
HB5104 eliminates the dangerous and costly barriers created by fees assessed to prisoners for medical care. Additionally, this bill restricts the profit prisons are allowed to make off of commissary items, like toothpaste and underwear, that prisoners are forced to purchase.
STALLED - In House rules committee
PASS :: HB5334 Background Fairness Act!
HB5334 requires that there must be a direct relationship between job duties and conviction history in order to deny an individual employment based on their previous convictions. This bill also provides people with the ability to sue companies who violate the law.
Is stalled in the Rules Committee of the House. May be considered in the fall.
The Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of Illinois encourages congregations and UUs across the state to get involved in policy work to alleviate some of the harm the criminal legal system inflicts.
Other relevant legislation from our partners at UUANI:
UU communities are inclusive, you can bring your whole self: your full identity, your questioning mind, your expansive heart.
Together, we create a force more powerful than one person or one belief system. As Unitarian Universalists, we do not have to check our personal background and beliefs at the door: we join together on a journey that honors everywhere we’ve been before.
(From our partners UUANI)
Several other important bills we advocated for were signed into law this legislative session in Illinois: