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Peters pushes to provide civics education to incarcerated population

civics 050819SPRINGFIELD – A new bill sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) would require the Department of Corrections to provide civics education to incarcerated people who will soon be released.

“Jails and prisons are meant to provide rehabilitation, and that means helping re-entry into society,” Peters said. “These folks have already lost their rights while locked up, and so they need to understand these rights so that they can resume being free citizens upon their release.”

House Bill 2541 creates the Re-Entering Citizens Civics Education Act and requires the Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice to provide non-partisan, peer-led civics programs throughout Illinois correctional facilities to incarcerated people who will be released within 12 months. The curriculum of the program will consist of voting rights, governmental institutions, current affairs, and simulations of voter registration, election, and democratic processes, and are purely educational.

Having passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee, the legislation now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Sen. Robert Peters

Sen. Robert Peters

13th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Criminal Law; Financial Institutions; Human Services; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology; Veterans Affairs.

Associated Representatives:
Kambium Buckner
Curtis J. Tarver II