CHICAGO, Aug. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Paula Wolff, Director of the Illinois Justice Project, issued the following statement on Monday about Gov. Rauner's approval of a series of criminal justice reform bills:
These bills are welcome steps in reform of the adult and juvenile criminal justice system in Illinois. The General Assembly and Governor have worked together to improve a system acutely in need of policy change.
SB 2370 is especially important because it expands a requirement that an attorney be present to protect children questioned for the most serious crimes. Most people are surprised to learn that teenagers can be interrogated for hours without a lawyer in the room. The practice has led to false confessions and long periods of incarceration for youth who don't understand their rights.
Other bills signed by the Governor will streamline the expungement process for some juveniles (HB 5017); will reduce the probation period for some youth (HB 6291); and will expand employment opportunities for men and women leaving state prisons (HB 5973).
These bills make it more likely those youth and adults will remain out of trouble and will make our neighborhoods safer. We look forward to working with members of the General Assembly and Gov. Rauner to continue efforts to divert people away from prison and to needed services and to continue to reduce the size of the state's prison population while keeping the public safe.
About the Illinois Justice Project
The Illinois Justice Project (ILJP) engages in criminal justice reform efforts that promote policies that will make our communities safer and reduce recidivism among youths and adults. Established in 2014 as a legacy project of Metropolis Strategies, the non-profit ILJP is a supporting organization of the Chicago Community Trust and an affiliate of The Commercial Club of Chicago. www.ILJP.org
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SOURCE Illinois Justice Project