051923SC6481 preston


SPRINGFIELD – Taking a step forward in ensuring the safety and well-being of employees and incarcerated individuals, State Senator Willie Preston advanced a measure through the Senate addressing indecent exposure in correctional facilities.

"This bill addresses a serious issue that has often gone unnoticed,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “By criminalizing these acts of public indecency, we are taking a strong stand against harassment and intimidation, fostering an environment that prioritizes the well-being of both inmates and staff."

House Bill 1399 amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to create the offense of "lewd sexual display in a penal institution," making it a Class A misdemeanor for incarcerated individuals to expose themselves with the purpose or effect of intimidating, harassing or threatening someone in the presence of such a display. Repeat offenders would face more severe penalties, with subsequent violations being considered Class 4 felonies. The provisions will be repealed on Jan. 1, 2028, allowing for thorough review of annual reports provided by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

Brought forth by the Cook County Sherriff’s Office, the measure mirrors penalties for public indecency but changes the penalties given the context and motivation of the crime. House Bill 1399 excludes facilities of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and other juvenile detention facilities, as well as individuals under the age of 18 and those suffering from behavioral health issues.

“Individuals who engage in such behavior will have to undergo evaluation and receive appropriate mental health treatment,” Preston said. “By providing access to these resources, we aim to rehabilitate individuals and prevent future offenses."

House Bill 1399 passed the Senate on Friday.