Restore Justice

  • Senate approves Fine’s plan to protect the rights of families visiting jailed loved ones

    fine 022720SPRINGFIELD – Family members of people serving time would be ensured fair treatment by the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

    “I’ve had the opportunity to hear from so many parents, siblings, children and friends of incarcerated individuals on this issue. When they expect a visit and get turned away, it can be heartbreaking,” said Fine. “We should be encouraging people to maintain connections with family and friends, which will improve their lives during and after incarceration.”

    The measure requires IDOC to appoint a point-of-contact person to receive suggestions, complaints and other comments from visitors to prison facilities, and from other members of the public.

  • New Peters bill challenges felony murder laws

    peters 103119SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) introduced a bill this week that redefines felony murder charges in Illinois.

    The language of current state law allows prosecutors to charge someone with first-degree murder if a death occurs during the commission of another offense when acting alone, or if a third-party individual causes a death when acting within a group. The new legislation would ban prosecutors from being able to do so.

    “Incarceration rates are disturbingly high as it is,” Peters said. “These laws do nothing to improve safety in our community and are not an effective way to combat the unforgivable crowding of our jails and prisons. They are quite simply not a reflection of any sort of justice we should strive for as a society.”

    The bill is an initiative of Restore Justice and was filed in response to an incident in Lake County where five teens were charged with first-degree murder after a failed home burglary in which the homeowner shot and killed a sixth teen.

    Senate Bill 2292 was filed with the secretary of the Senate on Monday. It is currently awaiting assignment to a committee, which likely will not occur until full session resumes in January.