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.


SUPPORT HB3061: Give People a Chance to Seal Their Record and Move On from a Past Mistake

Mar 12, 2013 | by admin

√ CHECK. WE DID THIS! If you want to help people with records rebuild their lives, please take 10 seconds to tell your legislators to support the sealing of these six criminal records. The sealing of old convictions promotes (1) self-sufficiency; (2) makes Illinois safer; and (3) saves Illinois millions.

This link makes easy to contact your legislators and tell them to support HB3061.
Contact your representatives here.

Each day, nearly 3 million men and women in Illinois are denied opportunities to decent employment and housing. Many hardworking men and women are eligible to apply for employment and housing but are not even considered because of past mistakes.

HB 3061 makes Illinois safer because access to employment and housing lowers recidivism. People with full-time employment after incarceration have very low recidivism rates (8%) compared to those without (47%). Besides being the right thing to do, HB 3061 will save Illinois hundreds of millions in incarceration costs.


HB 3061 allows the courts to consider the sealing of criminal records for eight felony convictions, including theft, retail theft, forgery, deceptive practice, possession of stolen motor vehicle, burglary and possession with intent. This is the first expansion since 2005, as only 3 felony convictions have been eligible for re-lief since that time (Class 4 possession of cannabis, prostitution and possession of controlled substance).

Sealing is not automatic or guaranteed! Sealing is only available to those proven to be law abiding and deserving of the relief. The sealing of felony convictions is only available one time!

  • Sealing is only available four years after the completion of a person’s last sentence, with no further convictions on their criminal record.
  • Formal, adversarial hearings are held before the court and law enforcement is part of the process and allowed to object, both before and after the entry of an order.
  • The court always has the discretion to seal past records. Courts weigh the criminal record against the individual’s rehabilitation in making these decisions.

Sealed records are always accessible to law enforcement and employers that are allowed to access records by law for public safety reasons: schools, park districts, public transportation, health care organization and financial institutions.
Contact your representatives here.