CCIL statement on landmark criminal justice reform legislation

Today, Governor Pritzker signed into law sweeping criminal justice reform for the state of Illinois. Common Cause Illinois applauds the governor and Illinois Legislative Black Caucus for their leadership in the passage of this historically significant reform package. The provisions of the bill address twelve areas for reform, ranging from ending cash bail, changes in sentencing laws, and mandatory minimums to ending prison gerrymandering.

“The criminal justice system is shaped by many of the same political forces that distort and corrupt other areas of government policy and action. But today, democracy won and special interests that profit from injustice were silenced,” said Jay Young, Executive Director of Common Cause Illinois. HB 3653 will take Illinois a step closer to ensuring equal justice for all. Mass incarceration is a fundamental threat to democracy. For far too long, Black and Brown communities have been ravaged by harmful policing and too many have been wrenched from their home and put in steel cages in rural communities, only to then have their bodies exploited for political gain. HB 3653 also attempts to write this wrong, by changing the way that incarcerated people are counted in the census and restoring balance to voting districts.”