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.


Urgent! OPPOSE HB5927! No DE FACTO life sentences for youth!

Mar 23, 2014 | by admin

√ CHECK. WE DID THIS! THIS BILL IS BACK IN RULES COMMITTEE. STAY TUNED. Youth with life sentences (JLWOP) just won a major decision by the State Supreme Court to be granted re-sentencing hearings. Stop this bill that would give them all DEFACTO life sentences.

Youth with life sentences have been given an incredible chance for re-sentencing in Illinois because of a State Supreme Court decision this week! But this bad bill would replace their mandatory life sentences with DE FACTO life sentences.

It is absolutely critical that we stop this bill. Sign the slip below OPPOSING HB5927. This must be done BEFORE 8:55am on Tuesday. If you can oppose the bill as an organization, please do. Spread the word.

Tell the Restorative Justice Committee that you are an OPPONENT of HB5927 with your witness slip:

1. Click here

2. Fill out your name, address, and phone number.  Fill out your “Firm/Business or Agency” if you wish OR write “none.”

3. In Section II, you can write “self” OR the name of any organization that you represent.

4. Select “Opponent”

5. Select “Record of Appearance Only”

6. Enter the number it shows in the box, agree to the terms, and click “Create(Slip).”  Thank you!
About 100 people in Illinois sentenced as youth to lifes sentences (JLWOP) will receive re-sentencing hearings per People v Davis. That State Supreme Court decision follows the groundbreaking US Supreme Court’s decision in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory JLWOP sentences are unconstitutional.

How these new sentences are determined depends on WHAT LAW is passed to REMEDY the current life sentences. We now have a battle for a just law to be put into place.

The prosecutors have put forth HB 5927 which would replace these mandatory life sentences with mandatory 60–100 year or natural life sentences, without consideration of the factors required byMiller. This bill replaces one unconstitutional sentence with another.

Under this sentencing scheme, someone imprisoned as a youth would be, at a minimum, 74–114 years old upon release. The bill also provides no meaningful opportunity for future review, so there is no future mechanism for people to make the case for release once they are rehabilitated. The Supreme Court decision acknowledges that these youth grow and change and this must be accounted for in sentencing.

Please fight HB5927 and instead support the Human Rights Watch supported legislation. HB1348/SB2993 will ensure that sentencing judges are considering the mitigating factors of youth at the time of sentencing and granting periodic sentencing reviews to youth serving life or life-equivalent sentences.