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Governor Rauner Signs Bipartisan Legislation to Reduce Recidivism

Governor Bruce Rauner today, joined by Secretary of State Jesse White, Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles), Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago), and other elected officials at A Safe Haven in Chicago, signed Senate Bill 3368, legislation to ensure that any person being released from the Department of Corrections (DOC) or Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has a valid state identification card upon release.

“In order to combat recidivism we need to remove some of the hurdles offenders face when they are released from a detention facility and begin to re-integrate into society,” said Governor Rauner. “In this case, it’s the simple step of providing an offender with a state ID. We thank the bill sponsors for their work on this bipartisan legislation and Secretary of State White for his commitment to implement the new law. This will help us end the cycle of recidivism and give former offenders more tools necessary to be successful and thrive and gets Illinois one step closer to safely reducing Illinois’ prison population by 25 percent before 2025.”

SB 3368, which was approved by the General Assembly December, requires the Secretary of State to issue a standard Illinois ID card, at the time of their release, to any person being released from the DOC or DJJ who present their birth certificate, social security card, or other documents authorized by the Secretary, and two proofs of address. For individuals without these documents, the Secretary of State will issue a limited-term, 90-day ID to released individuals who present a verified document from DOC/DJJ with their name, birth date, social security number, and proof of address. They then have 90 days to present this ID at the Secretary of State to receive a standard issue ID.

“This new law helps to reduce some of the barriers men and women face as they try to reenter society,” said Secretary of State White.  “This was a cooperative effort to streamline the ID process for those being released while maintaining its security.  I believe this helps give those who have served their time an opportunity to get back on the right path.”

“Offenders who have done their time deserve a fair shot once leaving Illinois’ correctional facilities. The simple act of providing low-level offenders with identification will help them to secure employment, housing, and establish financial stability,” said Sen. McConnaughay, a member of the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. “I want to thank Governor Rauner for his leadership in the ongoing effort to reform Illinois’ criminal justice system. Offering men and women an easier transition upon release will boost their opportunity for personal success. Moreover, the state as a whole will benefit from these types of commonsense reforms, which reduce recidivism and shrink the state’s prison population.”

“Governor Rauner’s leadership today will change Illinois to positively impact the lives of men and women when they are at their lowest point,” said Rep. Ford. “The ID issue for those leaving prisons has been a problem in Illinois for years, and today, thanks to Gov. Rauner’s leadership, we will meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable people in Illinois.”

The legislation was one of the recommendations made by the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform in their efforts to reduce the state’s current prison population by 25 percent by 2025.

Additional information on the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform can be found here.