July 03, 2013

IACJ News and Updates

Welcome to the IACJ eNewsletter...your source for timely information on criminal justice policy and practice in Illinois.

News and Reports

The following is a summary of criminal justice news and reports recently posted on the association's website. Visit www.illinoiscriminaljustice.org for more information and direct links.
  • A collaborative report by researchers, analysts, and advocates evaluates the Justice Reinvestment initiative and makes actionable recommendations for states to achieve the initiative's mission.

  • A Furman Center/Moelis Institute report investigates the link between housing vouchers and crime.

  • The John Howard Association reports on the Menard Correctional Center, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, the Northern Reception & Classification facility, the Vandalia Correctional Center, and the Pontiac Correctional Center.

  • A collaborative report on best practice standards for the proper use of criminal records in hiring advises employers.

  • Sesame Workshop provides resources in response to the growing number of children in the U.S. with incarcerated parents.

  • ACLU reports on racial bias in marijuana arrests.

  • Federal government releases report on sexual victimization in juvenile facilities; Illinois identified among four states with highest rates of victimization.

  • The Atlantic reports on America's incarceration epidemic.

  • The Wall Street Journal highlights Republican-led criminal justice reform efforts in several states.

  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission files suit against two employers for illegal use of criminal background checks.

Legislative Session Round-Up

The following bills were passed by the Illinois State General Assembly during spring session and are making their way to the Governor for consideration. For more information on any of the bills, visit www.ilga.gov and enter the bill number in the search box on the left margin.
  • SB 0026 – Enables expansion of the Medicaid program in Illinois as part of federal health care reform. Paves the way to health insurance coverage and access to medical and behavioral health care for many people involved in the criminal justice system.

  • SB 1192 – Expands juvenile justice system aftercare pilot program. Promotes a more rehabilitative approach to juvenile justice reentry.

  • SB 1598 – In addition to current requirements to collect information on the race of arrestees, requires police and corrections to collect data on Hispanic/Latino ethnicity. Promotes greater accuracy of information for practitioners, researchers, and advocates about who is involved in the criminal justice system.

  • SB 1659 – Raises the maximum tax credit available to an employer that hires a qualified ex-offender to $1,500 (rather than $600), and makes the credit available for three years after release (rather than one). Incentivizes employers to hire people with criminal records.

  • SB 1872 – Ends the felony sentence for prostitution. Addresses the targeting of prostituted individuals involved in these offenses, many of whom report being victimized or coerced by pimps.

  • HB 1046 – Removes 30-day time period constraint during which people in jails and prisons can go through the process of enrolling in Medicaid in anticipation of release. Helps facilitate continuity of medical and behavioral health care upon release from the institution.

  • HB 1548 – Expungement of eligible class 3 and 4 felony convictions for veterans receiving an honorable discharge. Supports those who have served their country to secure employment.

  • HB 2404 – Raises the age of majority from 17 to 18 years old with regard to felony offenses. Permits the treatment of 17-year-olds involved in Illinois' correctional systems as juveniles rather than adults.

  • HB 3010 – Expands first-offender pre-conviction expungeable probation. Provides opportunity for responsible diversion and prevention of a criminal record.

  • HB 3061 – Allows individuals to petition the court to order the sealing of: (1) class 3 felony conviction records for theft, retail theft, deceptive practices, and forgery; and (2) class 4 felony conviction records for possession of cannabis, possession of a controlled substance, violation of the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act, violation of the Steroid Control Act. Currently, only three felony convictions have been eligible for relief since that time (class 4 - possession of cannabis, prostitution, and possession of controlled substance). Helps individuals with criminal records secure jobs.


IDOC Summits of Hope
Various dates & Illinois locations


If you are not yet a member of IACJ, we'd like to invite you to consider membership in the association. IACJ is structured to support the work of advocates, providers and policy professionals focused on criminal justice work in Illinois. We hope to bring education, understanding and attention to the best practices in reentry and community reintegration.  Benefits of membership include being part of a strong network of your criminal justice peers and experts; the ability to share resources, act collectively, and speak with a common voice to command attention of elected official on policy issues; and a prestigious affiliation with a state-wide association.

Membership is free for a limited time only!  For more information and to join, please visit our Membership page
For more information on criminal justice issues and opportunities, and how you can get involved, visit illinoiscriminaljustice.org
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