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Bennett addresses incarcerated men at college graduation ceremony

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2019 01:40 PM

bennett 050219DANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) addressed 13 incarcerated men who received their associates degrees in general studies at Danville Area Community College (DACC) Wednesday.

“These individuals have faced difficulties in the past,” Bennett said. “It’s rewarding to see each of these men apply themselves to the program and make productive use of their time while incarcerated.”

Several studies have shown that recidivism rates are high and prison-based educational programs, like the ones offered at DACC, prepare students for successful job placement and lower the risk of re-offense. Bennett recognizes the value of higher education and life-long learning, and has supported the program by collecting dictionaries to help students succeed in their courses.

“Education is a powerful tool,” Bennett said. “Once you earn a degree, no one can take that away from you. These folks made the commitment to transform their lives and are on the path to a better future and becoming productive citizens in their communities.”

The dedicated faculty from DACC and the education program staff within Danville Correctional Center are to thank for putting these men on the right path and leading them to a healthier lifestyle in the future.

Castro’s pension consolidation program approved

Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 04:03 PM

castro 121819SPRINGFIELD – A plan sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) aimed at mitigating the threat of the state’s pension crisis was signed into law Wednesday.

“The number one budget issue legislators have been dealing with for decades is the pension crisis,” Castro said. “We got a victory today with this consolidation plan, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Hunter receives TASC Legislative Champion Award

Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 10:31 AM

hunter 121819

CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) received TASC’s 2019 Legislative Champion Award at the agency’s annual Leadership Awards Luncheon on Tuesday for her efforts to improve opportunities for substance-use disorder treatment, recovery, and community engagement, especially such opportunities for individuals who have had contact with the criminal legal system.

“Working to create a healthier, more equitable, more just society has been the bedrock of my career. I’m so honored to be recognized for these efforts by an organization equally committed to those values,” Hunter said. “I look forward to continuing this mission alongside groups like TASC to identify and implement new, innovative, and more holistic ways to address health inequities and stop the cycles of substance abuse and drug-related crime in Chicago and communities statewide.”

Belt: A child’s success starts with early childhood education

Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 10:43 AM

earlychildhoodSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) will serve on the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding to improve access to quality early childhood programs for all Illinois families.

“If we expect our children to have successful careers, we need to continue to invest in early childhood education,” Belt said. “This starts with making sure students have an intellectual skill set before entering kindergarten and ensuring the most disadvantaged children have the opportunity to succeed alongside their more advantaged classmates.”

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