HB 3807: Sentencing Discretion for Young People

House Sponsor

Representative Maurice West

In Illinois, more than 1,200 people are serving sentences longer than 40 years for convictions before they turned 21. In these cases, justices have asked the Illinois General Assembly to consider brain development when sentencing young adults.

Lengthy mandatory minimum sentences do not reduce crime.

  • Public safety benefits of longer prison sentences diminish during the latter years because of documented reduced criminal behavior due to age (Council on Criminal Justice, 2022).
  • The “age curve” shows us that the vast majority of people age out of criminal behavior long before their exit dates from prison, sometimes by decades. (Loyola University’s Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy & Practice, 2021) 

HB 3807 would allow judges to decide appropriate sentences on a case-by-case basis for people 20 and younger. Judges could apply the full mandatory sentence if appropriate.

Bill Status

The bill was introduced in the Senate on February 17, 2023.

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