HB2989

HB2989: Protecting In-Person Prison Visits in Illinois

House Sponsor

Representative Justin Slaughter

Senate Sponsor

Senator Kwame Raoul

UPDATE:  HB2989 was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on Friday, August 18, 2017.  The bill—now known as Public Act 100-0142—will take effect on January 1, 2018.

When an individual is incarcerated, their loved ones face formidable hurdles just to stay in contact, despite research which shows that receiving visits and maintaining family ties while in prison can reduce recidivism by 13%.  Family members of incarcerated Illinoisians often must travel hundreds of miles to see their loved ones and, upon arrival, may be denied entry to the prison facilities due to unannounced lockdowns or the subjective interpretations of visitation requirements made by individual officers. With the arrival of video visit technology, visits are further threatened as facilities may be tempted to forgo in-person visits altogether.

 

HB2989 will protect the rights of families visiting their loved ones in Illinois prisons by:

  • Establishing the minimum number of visits each incarcerated individual is entitled to each week or each month
  • Safeguarding in-person visits and ensuring that they are not reduced or replaced by video visits
  • Ensuring that visitation requirements—such as necessary types of identification—are accessible to visitors both online and on-site in all facilities
  • Requiring that the lockdown status for all facilities be made publicly available

Bill Status

On Friday, August 18, 2017, Governor Bruce Rauner officially signed HB2989 into law.  The bill had previously passed unanimously through both the Illinois House and Senate.

The bill—now known as Public Act 100-0142—will go into effect January 1, 2018.

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