The Illinois Association for Criminal Justice presented awards Sunday to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Danny K. Davis and Illinois State Senators Mattie Hunter and Kwame Raoul for legislative leadership in criminal justice policy.
The association’s inaugural event, held at the Safer Foundation in Chicago, featured a room filled to capacity with appreciative community members and service providers. Legislators were lauded for their commitment and sponsorship of key legislation to advance fairness in the justice system.
The association recognized Senator Durbin for authoring the Fair Sentencing Act, which was signed into law in 2010 and reduces the sentencing disparity in the mandatory penalties for possession of crack versus powder cocaine.
IACJ awarded Congressman Davis for sponsoring the Second Chance Act, which provides federal seed grants for programs that assist individuals released from prison to successfully reenter society
Senators Hunter and Raoul also received the group’s recognition for state legislative drug crime reform efforts in Springfield. Hunter successfully sponsored the Illinois Disproportionate Justice Impact Study Commission law that addresses racial disparities in justice system’s response to drug crimes.
Raoul won approval for Illinois Crime Reduction Act, a measure that invests in community-based solutions to non-violent, drug-related crime.
“At the heart of our mission, our goals are to advance criminal justice reforms that guarantee equality for all under the law, create safer communities, and reduce the financial burden of expensive and unnecessary incarceration on taxpayers,” said Diane Williams, IACJ President and CEO of Safer Foundation. “Congressman Davis and Senators Durbin, Hunter and Raoul embody those goals.”
“Our mission is to ensure that services and public policies are in place that will reduce crime and restore individuals to stability and productivity in their communities,” said Pamela Rodriguez, president of TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities), a founding organizational member of IACJ. “We’re here today because it’s vital to recognize legislative leaders when they take courageous stands in matters of fiscal responsibility and social justice. We care about these issues, we understand the impact of public policy in our communities, and we’re paying attention to what happens in Springfield and Washington.”
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