Removing Invisible Bars Bill (SB 2282)
Illinois Senate Bill 2282, otherwise known as the Removing Invisible Bars Bill, was signed into law in July 2016. A substantial portion of admissions to Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) are individuals on Mandatory Supervised Release who have violated their release conditions. These are known as “technical violations”. These conditions incarcerate individuals within their communities, even though they are no longer inside prison cells. During the fiscal year of 2014, over 11,000 parolees were returned to prison—8295 were from technical violations alone—at a cost of over $185 million dollars.
SB 2282, which was drafted by IMAN staff and leaders, amends a condition of parole that would otherwise re-incarcerate a parolee who is performing community work, limits technical violations to serious conditions such as committing new crimes and will save the state millions of dollars.
Illinois Violent Registry Fairness Act
The Illinois Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act requires certain violent offenders to register their names, addresses, and recent photos into a public database. According to the State of Illinois, “Individuals included on the registry are included solely by virtue of their conviction record, Illinois state law, and proof the offense was not sexually motivated.”
Enforcement of the registry has inadvertently created hardships for citizens that far exceeded the its intents and purpose. Returning citizens expected to register have experienced hardships in job placement, housing, and fully reintegrating back into communities.
Organizers and community members continue to work to remove barriers for returning citizens, and are pursuing amendments to this act allowing registrants to challenge and/or change the nature of their status. This will create a just and balanced approach towards community safety.