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Representative Justin Slaughter
Senator Robert Peters
Illinois’s “Truth-in-Sentencing” (TIS) law is one of the biggest drivers of over-incarceration. This law severely limits the amount of time people convicted of certain offenses can earn off their sentences.
Previously, people sentenced to prison in Illinois could earn sentence reduction credits for good behavior and participation in certain programs. Most people were eligible to have as much as 50% of their sentences cut, allowing them to return to their families and seek employment quicker. But, in 1998, extreme sentencing laws passed in Illinois. As a result, people are incarcerated far longer for the same convictions.
Research shows increased incarceration does not make communities safer. Instead, long sentences isolate individuals from their families and leave them unprepared to reenter the community. Long-term incarceration is costly to taxpayers and also harms families and communities, with a disproportionate effect on communities of color and communities with low-income already reeling from decades of disinvestment.
The Restorative Sentencing Act would allow people with extreme sentences to receive sentencing credits if they complete rehabilitative programs. The amount of credit that can be earned is capped at five years. Individuals serving a term of natural life imprisonment may not earn sentencing credit under the Restorative Sentencing Act.READ FULL BILL DOWNLOAD FACT SHEET
This bill was introduced on February 26, 2021.