This paragraph is from the organization's Statement of Principles:
Illinois conservatives should take note.
BusinessNewDaily featured five reasons to hire ex-offenders by John Shegerian. As Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International, Mr. Shegerian has employed hundreds of ex-offenders and has seen the value of giving people a second chance.
Here are Shegerian’s five reasons to consider hiring an ex-offender:
John Maki, JHA's executive director, appeared on WBEZ's morning program 848 to talk about House Bill 263. If signed into law, it will establish the nation's first murder registry.
Listen to the interview here.
A new nation-wide study found that only 6 percent of inmates are able to participate in post-secondary or vocational programs.
This is unacceptable. There is no better way to prevent prisoners from committing new crimes after they are released than to educate them while they are incarcerated. Education protects people from crime.
In 2010, JHA did a study of post-secondary and vocational education in the state's adult prisons and found similar results. This short video highlights our findings:
While Sewer highlights the extreme cost of incarceration, he also points to some bright spots.
That's incredible. If you want to know how Oregon decreased its recidivism rate, it was all about reforming probation and parole.
In Illinois, more than 50 percent of inmates return to prison within three years of their release. About half of that number comes from the kind of technical parole violations that Oregon no longer punishes with incarceration. Policy makers would be wise to see if we can use Oregon's model to safely decrease our growing prison population and save taxpayer money.
From JHA's statement on the death penalty: "the death penalty demonstrates disrespect for human life and does not make society safer. We recognize that society deserves protection against the threat posed by convicted and potential killers, but other sentences serve that purpose as well or better."
Today, Governor Quinn and the General Assembly has put Illinois on the path of having a more humane and cost-effective justice system.
What: The Truth About Our Justice System--a panel discussion on the systemic difficulties entering prison, enduring it and ultimately trying to re-enter society.
Where: Northeastern Illinois University, SU 214, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave. Chicago, IL 60625
When: Tuesday, February 22; 7:00PM-8:40PM
All are welcome!
Check out this powerful op-ed by Sheila Murphy, a retired judge and former JHA board member, on why Governor Quinn should abolish the death penalty.
Because of the distractions over the holidays, many of us miss the news. So, we at JHA thought it important to bring your attention to a few of these stories relating to youth in conflict with the law.
Judge Michael Toomin has been named the presiding judge over the Cook County Juvenile Justice Division. Judge Toomin has served on the bench for the past three decades, most recently on the appellate court. Informing Judge Toomin’s approach to running the Juvenile Justice Division is his belief that the kids in the juvenile system have potential and can become productive citizens. One of his goals is to reduce the number of juveniles held in detention. To read more about his appointment, click here.
Started two years ago as a pilot program in three counties, Redeploy Illinois has started to show positive results. The Redeploy program is part of a statewide effort to find effective alternatives to incarceration. As part of the program, youth participate in anger management programming, have a strict curfew, submit to drug testing, work closely with probation officers, and their parents are counseled as well. Last week the first youth graduated from the Redeploy program in Marion County. To read more about the program’s progress, click here.
Approximately 30,000 children in Illinois had a parent serving either a state or federal sentence in 2010. Children with incarcerated parents face an uphill battle to becoming productive citizens. Not only do they have a parent who is physically absent, but they must also deal with the trauma related to the parent being taken away. Sadly, many children with incarcerated parents similarly end up in the criminal justice system at some point in their life. To read more about the effects of having an incarcerated parent, click here.
Chicago Reader: Illinois is spending money it doesn't have to keep convicts who can barely walk behind bars
This is a must-read article by Jessica Pupovac on Illinois' growing elderly prisoner population.
While you should definitely check out the whole piece, here are a couple key paragraphs:
It's critical that we hold people accountable for crimes they have committed. But we also need to hold ourselves accountable for the money and resources we spend in doing so.
Once an inmate no longer poses a threat to public safety, we need to ask ourselves if there are other ways we can ensure accountability without spending the scarce resources it takes to incarcerate them.
Read the entire article here.
Mistake Kids Make