CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation today aimed at further reforming Illinois’ criminal justice system, among them a bill which prohibits the use of “deceptive tactics” during police interrogations of young people.
“The four bills I’m signing today advance the rights of some of our most vulnerable in our justice system and put Illinois at the forefront of the work to bring about true reform. Together, these initiatives move us closer to a holistic criminal justice system, one that builds confidence and trust in a system that has done harm to too many people for far too long,” Pritzker said.
The package of bills signed into law today include:
• Senate Bill 2122, which prohibits the use of deceptive tactics by all law enforcement when interrogating a minor. Sponsored by Senator Peters and Representative Slaughter, the bill takes effect January 1, 2022.
• Senate Bill 64, which encourages the use of restorative justice practices by providing that participation in such practices and anything said or done during the practice is privileged and may not be used in any future proceeding unless the privilege is waived by the informed consent of the party or parties covered by the privilege. Sponsored by Senator Peters and Representative Ammons, the bill takes effect immediately.
• Senate Bill 2129, which allows the State’s Attorney of a county in which a defendant was sentenced to petition for resentencing of the offender if the original sentence no longer advances the interests of justice. Sponsored by Senator Peters and Representative Cassidy, the bill takes effect January 1, 2022.
• House Bill 3587, which creates the Resentencing Task Force Act to study ways to reduce Illinois’ prison population via resentencing motions. Sponsored by Senator Peters and Representative Slaughter, the bill takes effect immediately.
“Here in Illinois, whether it’s paving the way for compassionate resentencing by recognizing the human potential for change or protecting our children by banning deceptive practices in police interrogations of minors, we are making it abundantly clear that justice can no longer be denied,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “By bringing a restorative justice lens to policy making, we are transforming our justice system and serving as a model for the nation.”
Spurred on by nationwide protests following the killing of George Floyd last year, Illinois has become one of the most progressive states in the nation in altering its criminal justice system to address what the governor has called “systemic racism” within state institutions, including law enforcement.
In February, Pritzker signed a criminal justice reform plan which eliminates cash bail within 2 years; allows the use of deadly force only when an officer acts in self defense or defending others from bodily harm; makes it easier to decertify officers by eliminating signed affidavit of complaint; limits the purchase of specialized tactical (military) equipment; and mandates the use of police body cameras for all officers by 2025.
Law enforcement representatives statewide condemned the reform plan as hindering police from preventing crime, adding it would embolden criminals and threaten police officers. A survey of Illinois residents found nearly 54% did not support the changes to cash bail.
Effective July 1, a criminal justice reform bill from the Illinois Black Caucus eliminated license suspension for those who were unable to pay traffic tickets, automated red light and speed camera tickets, and parking tickets.