Mass Incarceration Legislation: SB 1722 / SB 233

SB 1722 a bill that would enhance Illinois’ already harsh sentencing policies but not reduce violence passed both houses. This proposal is a continuation of harmful public policies that studies in the report, Building a Safe Chicago, have shown are ineffective.  

Thanks to your action, a previous version of this bill did not pass during the January 2017 “Lame Duck” session.

We are committed to stopping the devastating gun violence in Chicago. However, enacting longer sentences for gun possession will not make our communities safer. Illinois already requires more mandatory prison time for unlawful gun possession than most states. 

Longer sentences are unlikely to increase public safety. They will, instead, increase the cost of Illinois’ overcrowded prison system, while doing nothing to improve rehabilitation inside of state prisons or in communities after individuals are released. Illinois has increased gun possession sentences six times since 2000, tripling the number of people in prison for possessing a weapon. Still, we have experienced record levels of violence without any measurable positive impact on public safety. 

Community Renewal Society opposes any new legislation that expands mandatory minimums or enhances Illinois’ already harsh sentencing policies. Instead, we support comprehensive approaches to violence reduction, such as expanding employment opportunities for returning citizens and funding community-based restorative justice and violence prevention programs.

Stay informed >

Fact Sheet: Support SB 233
The Chicago Reporter: Locking up more people is not the solution to gun violence, by Curtis Black, March 23, 2017


For more information, contact:
Lindsey Hammond | lhammond@communityrenewalsociety.org | (312) 673-3841
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