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.

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URGENT: We need witness slips against Rahm’s mandatory minimum bill by 2:00pm on November 5th!!

Nov 4, 2013 | by admin

√ CHECK. WE DID THIS! TOMORROW, NOVEMBER 5, 2013, AT 2:00 PM, the Illinois House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on an amendment to increase the mandatory minimum sentence for gun possession charges (SB 1342). Decades of empirical research demonstrate that mandatory sentences will not reduce gun violence. SB 1342 will not increase public safety, but will dramatically increase costs to the state and our communities

Please raise your voice for smart, strategic, evidence-based solutions to gun violence and OPPOSE this amendment.

To voice your opposition to SB 1342, please submit a slip by taking the followings simple steps:

1.  Go here: http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/71864?committeeHearingId=11321&LegislationId=71864&HCommittees11%2F11%2F2013-page=1&committeeid=0&chamber=H&nodays=7&_=1383598581109
2.  Under Section I, fill in your identification information.
3.  Leave Section II blank.
4.  In Section III, select the “Opponent” button.
5.  In Section IV, select “Record of Appearance Only.”
6.  Agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement
7.  Select the “Create Slip” button.

Slips can be submitted until tomorrow, November 5 at 1:45 pm

The new amendment:
· Strips judges of the discretion to use alternatives to incarceration such as boot camp when circumstances warrant, further limiting sentencing options.
· Retains the most expensive parts of previous proposals – eliminates the ability of nonviolent offenders to earn reduced time for good behavior (while more serious offenders can still earn it), flooding overcrowded prisons with thousands of lower-level people unable to earn parole.
· Lengthens mandatory minimum sentences despite research that they are not effective and run counter to national trends.
· Applies to people upon a first gun possession offense:  each weapon (and sometimes each bullet) is charged separately.  Moreover, increased sentence length has not been proven any more effective with “repeat” offenders than with “first-time” offenders.