Illinois can do it the old way and raise taxes to deliver pork projects. Or Illinois can be smart and make each tax dollar work hard to deliver projects that help residents and the economy.View Report
Illinois has started to embrace second chances for people who have been through the criminal justice system.
While 2017 was a bad year for Illinois taxpayers, there are bright spots among the bills that passed the General Assembly.
In 2017 the Illinois General Assembly passed two bills that can improve employment outcomes for ex-offenders, potentially reducing crime and saving millions of dollars.
The new laws will make it easier for ex-offenders re-enter their communities.
Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly have now passed a measure to enable more ex-offenders to petition a court to seal their criminal records. This will help former inmates gain access to employment – and stay out of prison.
Reforms such as record sealing expansion make it likelier that ex-offenders will be able to find work – and stop cycling in and out of prison. That means they and their families will have a chance to succeed. And the more ex-offenders enter this virtuous cycle – instead of returning to prison – the better off the state and taxpayers will be, too.
Research shows that recidivism rates drop for ex-offenders who are able to find steady employment.
Illinois governors don’t just pass on debt to their successors – they also leave behind a backlog of petitions for clemency.
Although a new study by Northwestern University researchers shows ex-offenders can make good hires, obstacles such as negligent-hiring liability hinder employers willing to give ex-offenders a chance.
A majority of Illinois voters surveyed in a recent poll back record sealing for nonviolent offenders. Here’s how policymakers should make this happen.