Decarcerate Illinois

We call on lawmakers to end our reliance on incarceration, reduce the need for such a crippling corrections budget and improve public safety. We support Illinois prison closures and support efforts to swiftly reduce Illinois' record-high prison population. Illinois must instead invest in prison alternatives, community-based services and support for people after incarceration.

From commitment to action! Please oppose bills that increase incarceration and support bills that help people stay out of prison.

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Support the Campaign for Common Sense Discipline

Apr 6, 2014 | by admin

‚ąö CHECK. WE DID THIS! SB3004/HB4655 and SB2793: Fixing school discipline to improve school safety, raise academic achievement, and save taxpayer dollars

SB3004/HB4655 and SB2793 form the Campaign for Common Sense Discipline, which provides solutions to the harmful overuse of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests. There were over 272,000 out-of-school suspensions of Illinois students, more than 2,400 expulsions, and more than 10,000 arrests in just one recent school year. As a result, Illinois students are losing over one million instructional days per year.

The research is clear: these extreme disciplinary practices have not made schools safer or improved educational quality, but they have been deeply harmful to students, families, schools, and the entire state. Research shows that students who are suspended or expelled become six times more likely to repeat a grade, five times more likely to drop out, and nearly three times more likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system the next year. Moreover, the overuse of disciplinary practices has disproportionately impacted students of color. Illinois districts suspend the highest percentage of African Americans of any state.

SB2793 creates an improved understanding of school discipline issues by requiring public reporting of data already collected on the use of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, removals to alternative settings, and student retention. SB2793 also requires the school districts with the highest rates of student exclusion, law enforcement involvement, and racial inequity to submit improvement plans to the Illinois State Board of Education, which will provide them with technical assistance.

Working alongside SB2793, SB3004/HB4655 limits out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests to when it is educationally appropriate. SB3004/HB4655 also promotes proven, developmentally-appropriate disciplinary alternatives that will improve school safety, boost student attendance, raise academic achievement, and save taxpayer dollars across the state.

Ask your representatives to support SB3004/HB4655 and SB2793, the Campaign for Common Sense Discipline! Click here for the Senate, here for the House, and here for SB2793, which passed the Senate floor!