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Author Topic: Joint Legislative Criminal Justice Reform Committee Meeting Sept23 - IMPORTANT  (Read 27256 times)

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Offline Forevermah

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There will be a meeting with the Joint Legislative Criminal Justice Committee on Sentencing Reform/Elderly for anyone on:

July 15,2014
6th floor, James Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph
Chicago. Illinois
Time: 2PM



This meeting/hearing on the 15th, will be testimony on this issue from IDOC only.


A future meeting/hearing/s will be devoted to the general public/victim families testimony and for this hearing we would like to have many attend, IPT will post the date for that and any future hearings in this topic. This will be your chance to have your voices heard and get involved, save the date and plan on it.


Please contact your state legislators by phone or writing and let them know your concerns on these issues and also contact the Committee Members ..  Rep Michael Zalewski, (D-23 ) Riverside, Sen. Michael Noland, Rep. Arthur Turner (D-9) Chicago, Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13) Chicago, Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (D-5) Chicago and the full list is below.




PLEASE read the testimony of Bill Ryan in pdf,  just click on this link to read it all:













 Committee members:

CO-chairs: Rep Michael Zalewski, (D-23 ) Riverside
                   Sen. Michael Noland   ( D- 22)Elgin

Rep.John Anthony (R-) Morris
Rep.Ken Dunkin (D-5) Chicago
Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-45) Addison
Rep. Arthur Turner (D-9) Chicago
Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13) Chicago
Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (D-5) Chicago







We will post more information as we get it, please check back often.
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Offline Forevermah

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Just bringing this back up for anyone that is thinking about attending, it is this Tuesday, July 15th, 2PM.

This Morning on WBBM780.com Radio, Craig Delimire Interviewed State Rep. Michael Zalewski, just click on the link below for this interview, it was very interesting.

Changes need to be made and am hoping this committee can get the ball rolling, Tough on Crime isn't the way to go anymore:


This week on "At Issue" WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore interviews State Rep. Michael Zalewski, one of the leaders of a group of lawmakers who are starting to craft reforms of Illinois' justice system.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/audio/wbbm-latest/
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Offline Forevermah

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State panel to tackle prisoner reduction

Mon, Jul 14, 2014

By Tony Arnold

A small panel of Illinois lawmakers meets this week with a lofty goal.  They want to find a way to reduce the prison population, cut down on recidivism - but still enforce strict laws.  IPR’s Tony Arnold reports.

 Illinois State Representative Mike Zalewski is gathering the committee to look at the big picture on prisons.

 They’ll discuss overcrowding in Illinois’ prisons - and the billion dollars they cost taxpayers each year.

 Zalewski says he’s tired of not doing anything about it.

 ZALEWSKI: I heard statistics somewhere that the average stay sometimes for a first-time marijuana user in the Department of Corrections is like 12 days if they don’t get an I-bond. 12 days. That’s insane.

 But low level drug offenses isn’t all Zalewski is looking at.

 He’ll also be bringing back one proposal that’s been debated for years - but never got enough support.

 It would send people convicted of certain gun crimes to prison for 3 years - end of story.

 No early release.

 But even though it hasn’t gotten enough Yes votes - it hasn’t gone away because Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy talks about it constantly.

 McCARTHY: Possession of a loaded firearm is not even considered a violent felony in the State of Illinois for sentencing purposes. Which is why you see the revolving door. Which is why you see people getting arrested with guns over and over again. Zalewski has carried bills for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel before. But with this gun bill - he’s up against some strong opponents.

 The National Rifle Association is one.

 They say lawful gun owners who improperly carry a gun and get caught would have to go away for three years.

 Many black lawmakers are also fighting it - saying just locking people up doesn’t truly address gun violence issues in their communities.

 Zalewski says a negotiated version might send someone to prison for less than 3 years...

 Or punish someone more on their first gun offense.

 ZALEWSKI: I think people are so worn out by my bill and by the budget problems we have. And they’re sick of seeing the Department of Corrections have these budget issues and having guys sleep in gymnasiums, there’s just a real appetite to, ‘Let’s do something.’

 Art Lurigio says it’s good to recognize that Illinois’ criminal justice system need to change...

 It’s just a matter of what that change is.

 He’s a psychology professor and criminologist at Loyola University.

 LURIGIO: Research suggests that it’s not the severity of the punishment that has a deterrent effect, but the certainty of punishment.

 Lurigio’s point is that research shows people with guns don’t necessarily worry about how long they’ll spend behind bars - it’s whether they’ll get caught.

 He says alternatives to prison can actually have more of a positive effect than locking up low-level criminals.

 LURIGIO: We’re keeping a lot of money to keep people locked up in prison. The time that they spend in prison is time away from them ever having an opportunity to change their life trajectory unless they’re fully engaged in services.

 That’s where Father David Kelly comes in.

 Because while Representative Zalewski and lawmakers are dealing with end of the criminal justice process - prisons - Father Kelly deals with the beginning of that process - kids who are getting in trouble.

 Kelly runs Precious Blood Ministries in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago.

 KELLY: These drums are used in the juvenile detention center. We do drumming circles at juvenile detention center. So I’m the chaplain at Cook County Juvenile, as well…(FADE)

 As he gives me a tour of the center - which is a former school…

 He shows me a clothes rack - with dress clothes for the teenagers who have upcoming court appearances.

 Precious Blood deals mostly with teens who have already been arrested and done time.

 Kelly says whatever the laws are that do pass - he wants to see more neighborhood programs.

 KELLY: Rather than harsher laws, harsher gun penalties, let’s punish our way out of this, I just don’t think there’s an end to that. I don’t think that will get us anywhere but fill our jails and prisons and then take the minimum resources we do have here in the community away.

 Kelly says the young people he interacts with now - are the ones statistics show are going to end up testing out the laws Representative Zalewski is thinking of changing. And the best way to make sure they don’t end up testing those laws and getting arrested - doesn’t come from legislators - but from getting more people in the community involved. 


http://m.peoriapublicradio.org/?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F#mobile/26459
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Offline Forevermah

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Today is the Joint Legislative Criminal Justice Reform Committee Meeting


July 15,2014
6th floor, James Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph
Chicago. Illinois
Time: 2PM



Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline Forevermah

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IPT MEMBERS NEED TO GET INVOLVED!!

Our Member Bill made this post on the Elderly Bill Board yesterday:


"I suggest IPTers contact joint committee members whose members are listed on previous pages.

This committee really needs to hear from family members. telling your story. i think this committee will recommend some changes but how many and what is not known.

Contact members tell them of your and your LO's experiences with IDOC.

If questions please let me know."

http://www.illinoisprisontalk.org/index.php?topic=30638.msg249889#msg249889






This is the list of Committee members that Bill is suggesting people  contact by phone or writing, do it now!!

 Committee members:

CO-chairs: Rep Michael Zalewski, (D-23 ) Riverside
                   Sen. Michael Noland   ( D- 22)Elgin

Rep.John Anthony (R-) Morris
Rep.Ken Dunkin (D-5) Chicago
Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-45) Addison
Rep. Arthur Turner (D-9) Chicago
Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13) Chicago
Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (D-5) Chicago
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline Forevermah

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Illinois lawmakers take testimony on prisons

2 hours ago


CHICAGO (AP) — A legislative committee is gathering information on ways to address Illinois' prison population.

The Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee heard more than three hours of testimony Tuesday in Chicago during its first meeting.

The bipartisan committee will also look at how to reduce racial disparities in sentencing and the number of people released from prison who commit new crimes.

Rep. Mike Zalewski (zuh-LEH'-skee) is a Riverside Democrat who pushed to create the committee. He says he wants efforts to be data driven. The group is expected to release recommendations at year's end. Zalewski says he hopes that also means some legislation.

Those who testified included Illinois Department of Corrections officials who raised concerns about the growing number of geriatric inmates. Lake County authorities also discussed issues for mentally-ill inmates.

http://jg-tc.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois-lawmakers-take-testimony-on-prisons/article_bca2eda5-ff84-59fa-9d10-9bdadacfe560.html
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Offline Forevermah

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Panel to debate gun laws, how to reduce Illinois prison population

July 15, 2014
By: Tony Arnold


A small panel of Illinois lawmakers meets this week with a lofty goal. It wants to find a way to reduce the prison population, cut down on recidivism, but still enforce strict laws.A small panel of Illinois lawmakers meets this week with a lofty goal. It wants to find a way to reduce the prison population, cut down on recidivism, but still enforce strict laws.

Illinois State Rep. Mike Zalewski is gathering the committee to look at the big picture on prisons. They’ll discuss overcrowding in Illinois’ prisons and the billion dollars they cost taxpayers each year. Zalewski said he’s tired of not doing anything about it.

“I heard statistics somewhere that the average stay sometimes for a first-time marijuana user in the Department of Corrections is like 12 days if they don’t get an I-bond. 12 days. That’s insane,” he said in an interview at his downtown Chicago law office.

But low level drug offenses isn’t all Zalewski is looking at. He’ll also be bringing back one proposal that’s been debated for years, but never got enough support. A previous version of the proposal would’ve send people convicted of certain gun crimes to prison for three years, end of story. No early release.

But even though it hasn’t gotten enough ‘yes’ votes, it hasn’t gone away because Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy talks about it constantly.

“Possession of a loaded firearm is not even considered a violent felony in the State of Illinois for sentencing purposes,” McCarthy told reporters last week. “Which is why you see the revolving door. Which is why you see people getting arrested with guns over and over again.”

Zalewski has carried bills for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel before. But with this gun bill, he’s up against some strong opponents.

The National Rifle Association is one. They say lawful gun owners who improperly carry a gun and get caught would have to go away for three years.

Many black lawmakers are also fighting it, saying just locking people up doesn’t truly address gun violence issues in their communities.

Zalewski says a negotiated version might send someone to prison for less than three years, or punish someone more on their first gun offense.

“I think people are so worn out by my bill and by the budget problems we have,” Zalewski said. “And they’re sick of seeing the Department of Corrections have these budget issues and having guys sleep in gymnasiums, there’s just a real appetite to, ‘Let’s do something.’”

Art Lurigio says it’s good to recognize that Illinois’ criminal justice system need to change. It’s just a matter of what that change is.

“Research suggests that it’s not the severity of the punishment that has a deterrent effect, but the certainty of punishment,” said Lurigio, a psychology professor and criminologist at Loyola University.

Lurigio’s point is that research shows people with guns don’t necessarily worry about how long they’ll spend behind bars, it’s whether they’ll get caught. He said alternatives to prison can actually have more of a positive effect than locking up low-level criminals.

“We’re keeping a lot of money to keep people locked up in prison,” he said. “The time that they spend in prison is time away from them ever having an opportunity to change their life trajectory unless they’re fully engaged in services.

That’s where Father David Kelly comes in.

Because while Rep. Zalewski and lawmakers are dealing with end of the criminal justice process - prisons - Father Kelly deals with the beginning of that process: kids who are getting in trouble.

“These drums are used in the juvenile detention center. We do drumming circles at juvenile detention center. So I’m the chaplain at Cook County Juvenile, as well,” said Kelly, who runs Precious Blood Ministries in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago.

As he gives me a tour of the center, which is a former school, he shows me a clothes rack with dress clothes for the teenagers who have upcoming court appearances. Precious Blood deals mostly with teens who have already been arrested and done time.

Kelly said whatever the laws are that do pass, he wants to see more neighborhood programs.

“Rather than harsher laws, harsher gun penalties, let’s punish our way out of this, I just don’t think there’s an end to that,” Kelly said. “ I don’t think that will get us anywhere but fill our jails and prisons and then take the minimum resources we do have here in the community away.”

Kelly said the young people he interacts with now are the ones statistics show are going to end up testing out the laws Rep. Zalewski is thinking of changing. And the best way to make sure they don’t end up testing those laws and getting arrested doesn’t come from legislators, but from getting more people in the community involved.


http://www.wbez.org/news/panel-debate-gun-laws-how-reduce-illinois-prison-population-110496
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Offline Forevermah

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The hearing yesterday focused on IDOC testimony from S.A. Godinez, Director IDOC, Kathy Saltmarsh/Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Board and John Maki, John Howard Association.  It included lots of data, discussion about non violent low level offenders, use of risk assessments/costs.

The next hearing is August 19th, we will post on topic and times etc.

Rep. Micheal Zawleski and Rep. Michael Nolan need to hear from families of inmates, NOW.  

Anyone wanting to submit testimony should contact them, now is your chance to get involved, everyone always says, I wish there was something *I* could do, well now there is!!!!

If you have questions, you can contact our member Bill by private message and ask your questions.

Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



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Offline jejordan2014

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What kinds of information are they wanting to know about?? I want to help do my part just not sure what they really want to know about.
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Offline Jennyc72

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I would be happy to help, it's my first time at this so please give me information on how to go about this. Thank you for all you do for inmates.

Offline chantygirl

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There's another post on this topic, that includes a testimony by Bill Ryan.  If you read his testimony, it's a great example.


Offline Forevermah

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There's another post on this topic, that includes a testimony by Bill Ryan.  If you read his testimony, it's a great example.



Thanks chantygirl !

Here is that link for Bill's Testimony:

http://www.illinoisprisontalk.org/pdf/jointcomm2014.pdf



Also urge these Committee Members to visit prison inmates both men and women to get their concerns about things like possibly more programs for inmates, more help for them when they get out, more people allowed good time, better healthcare etc. etc. etc.
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“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline Khamp

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How do I get a committee members email address to write to them?

Offline chantygirl

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How do I get a committee members email address to write to them?

repzalewski@gmail.com is Representative Zalewski (The Co-Chair of the committee) email address.

Offline Forevermah

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You should also write or at least cc the other reps. we will try to get all of their emails.
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“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline Khamp

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Thank you so much. Do I just tell them my story about my husband? The reason I am asking is because I am a little bit confused.
The county where we live had given him a plea of 150 in county and a fine. The public defender told us not to take the plea. He
ended up with 3 years.

Offline Forevermah

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Rep. Michael Zawleski     repzalewski@gmail.com

Rep. Michael  Noland       info@noland.org

Rep.John Anthony           

Rep.Ken Dunkin

Rep. Dennis Reboletti

Rep. Arthur Turner

Sen. Kwame Raoul

Sen. Patricia Van Pelt
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline Forevermah

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Thank you so much. Do I just tell them my story about my husband? The reason I am asking is because I am a little bit confused.
The county where we live had given him a plea of 150 in county and a fine. The public defender told us not to take the plea. He
ended up with 3 years.


Yes, tell them the story of what happened and your suggestions about rehab versus prison.
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”

Offline Khamp

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Ok thank you so much. You are such a kind person. :wc38:

Offline Forevermah

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Thank you too!!
Do not value the "things" you have in your life - value "who" you have in your life....



“Instead of thinking about what you're missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.”


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