The Governor of Illinois recently signed into law Senate Bill 2872 which should assist in reducing the state’s prison population, as well as implement programs to help make communities safer. Referred to as the Neighborhood Safety Act, the new law also includes recommendations offered by the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform.
The state has recently enacted several criminal justice reform laws which all aim to reduce Illinois prison population by 25 percent by the year 2025. The Neighborhood Safety Act will help reach this goal by giving the courts more discretion when it comes to sentencing. Judges will now be able to sentence convicted defendants to probation instead of jail or prison when they feel the circumstances warrant that sentence.
There will also be more rehabilitative programs made available to inmates, such as life skills training, substance abuse programs, and career training. Supporters of the new law noted that many offenders are released from prison in worse shape than when they entered, often leading to a cycle of recidivism. Giving inmates the tools to successfully reenter society so they do not return to criminal activity will help decrease the prison population.
The new law also addresses help for victims of violent crime, especially children who have either been victims themselves or have witnessed violent acts. There will be trauma recovery centers established in the state, particularly in those communities which have high rates of violent crime. Studies have shown that victims who suffer from untreated trauma often turn to violence themselves.
The new law received high praises from criminal justice advocates for the way it addresses the need to break the cycle of criminal acts, as well as addressing the needs of both the victims and offenders. Last year, in a survey conducted by the Alliance for Safety and Justice, seven out of every 10 victims of crime said they preferred a more balanced approach to criminal justice reform. The majority said there should be more focus on prevention and rehabilitation, as well helping victims recover from the trauma they have suffered. The president of the organization said this new bill accomplishes all of that.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, it is critical for your future to contact a skilled DuPage County criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Stephen A. Brundage has been practicing law in Illinois for more than 25 years and can evaluate the case against you and assist you in determining how to proceed. Attorney Brundage is committed to aggressively advocating for each of his clients to effectively resolve the legal issues they may be facing. Call 630-260-9647 today to schedule your free initial consultation.