Decarcerate Illinois

We call on Illinois lawmakers to take a realistic view of what community safety means and how to achieve it. Our current systems have been failing individuals, families, and communities for generations. The needs of survivors are not being met and the current system disrespects and harms accused and convicted people, making them and their families unsafe. We can no longer condone the harms of our current laws and allow them to continue to separate families and perpetuate harm for generations. Let's act!

From commitment to action! Please support bills that offer a truly progressive step forward in ending our reliance on carceral policies and toward proven policies for community safety for all.


About Us

We are organizations and individuals who applaud the closure of Tamms, Dwight, IYC Murphysboro and IYC Joliet. We urge elected officials to support the governor in reducing the prison population and decreasing the state’s expensive and ineffective reliance on incarceration. Instead, we must invest in the social and economic infrastructure that keeps people out of prison — and rebuild the communities most impacted by crime and incarceration.

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Decarcerate Illinois member organizations may not individually endorse or oppose all actions on the site, although we share the following fundamental principles:

•    We must create policies with evidence-based, cost-effective solutions, with the goal of public safety, individual rehabilitation and human rights.

•    We should fund and promote alternatives to prosecution and incarceration through the use of community-based, diversion and specialized programming before, during and after involvement in the criminal legal system.

•    We must remove the lifetime consequences imposed by the criminal legal system on men and women seeking to actively reengage in the community after arrest or conviction.

•    We oppose any increase in sentencing or removal of judicial discretion and instead support practices that allow for individual consideration.

•    We especially challenge incarceration for those with substance-use disorders or serious mental health problems.