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Problem: Today, criminal justice reforms only look forward and provide no relief to those already impacted by outdated laws. That means thousands of men, women, and children continue to bear the burden of ineffective policies even as societal values evolve and change. Currently, individuals can not retroactively clear their record of activities society no longer believes should be illegal or for which penalties have been reduced, which means released persons face unreasonable prison time along with barriers to securing housing, jobs, and education.
What this bill does: HB2039 would allow individuals to request a hearing—and possible resentencing—if new laws pass that reduce former criminal penalties in some way. When denying petitions, courts must consider criminal history, disciplinary record, and other evidence related to the risk that petitioners commit new violent felonies. Petitioners may request changes to or sealing of their criminal record should their crimes become recategorized from felony to misdemeanor, or decriminalized entirely.
HB2039 was assigned to the House Judiciary – Criminal Committee and is pending hearing on March 4th, 2019.
Illinoians can file a Witness Slip in support of the bill by Tuesday, March 4th at 3:00pm CST.
Visit HERE and file a slip before Tuesday, March 5th at 3pm.
In Section I, Identification: Complete all required information.
In Section II, Representation: May be left blank; do not fill in unless you are designated and authorized to represent a group in an official capacity.
In Section III, Position: Select “Proponent.”
In Section IV, Testimony: Select “Record of Appearance Only.”
Make sure you accept the terms of agreement and click the “submit slip” button on the bottom right-hand side of the page.