IL Gov. Bruce Rauner Signs Criminal Justice Best Practices Act into Law

January 11, 2018
CONTACT: Kristin Ford, Alliance for Safety and Justice, [email protected], 202.570.6441

IL Gov. Bruce Rauner Signs Criminal Justice Best Practices Act into Law
Bill, Sponsored by State Rep. Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) and Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), builds on major 2017 reform

SPRINGFIELD – Monday afternoon, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 1607, the Criminal Justice Best Practices Act, into law. This measure, sponsored by Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) and Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), introduces best practices to facilitate re-entry for individuals leaving incarceration and reduce recidivism and follows on the heels of the passage of the Neighborhood Safety Act in 2017. The Criminal Justice Best Practices Act also improves supports available for children and youth who’ve been affected by crime and violence.

The bill clarifies and establishes the legislative intent and applicability of SB 2872, the Neighborhood Safety Act, to expand eligibility for rehabilitative programming in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The bill also

  • requires the IDOC to use evidence-based practices to supervise individuals on parole, focusing higher levels of supervision on those assessed as high risk, while using a lower-level of supervision for individuals who are classified low-risk, including monthly check-in with parole officers
  • expands access to Victim Compensation Fund to expand the definition of cooperation with law enforcement in order to increase services (both compensation and trauma-related services) for more children and youth who have suffered emotional or psychological injury due to a crime of violence
  • requires the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to submit a 4-year strategic plan to inform state and local coordination for violence prevention and victim and trauma recovery services

“This is an important step to improve public safety in communities throughout Illinois and reach more crime victims, proactively finding ways to break cycles of violence,” said Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth. “We must continue to innovate and center our criminal justice policies in what survivors of crime are calling for: smarter investments in prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation and help healing after a crime occurs. We’ve made major strides this year and even more needs to be done to achieve safer communities.”

The bill expands the housing voucher program for chronically homeless who are in a revolving door in and out of prison based on homelessness.

A first-of-its-kind survey of victims of crime in Illinois, commissioned by the Alliance for Safety and Justice in 2016, found that seven in 10 victims prefer a balanced approach to public safety – shorter prison sentences and greater investments in prevention, rehabilitation and trauma recovery for victims.

“This bill builds on the momentum created by the Neighborhood Safety Act, continuing to improve public safety and expand smart criminal justice policies rooted in what crime survivors want and what will help them heal,” said Robert Rooks, vice president of Alliance for Safety and Justice. “Alliance for Safety and Justice was proud to work with Rep. Gordon-Booth on this significant piece of legislation.”