With the 2012 election only two months away, the issue of voting rights has gained increasing public attention. A recent report by The Sentencing Project highlights the disparities between states regarding levels of felon disenfranchisement. Authors Christopher Uggen, Sarah Shannon, and Jeff Manza note that over the past 35 years, the number of disenfranchised people has risen from 1.17 to 5.85 million. Due to post-sentence disenfranchisement laws, 2.6 million of the total disenfranchised population have completed their sentences but still cannot vote. The African-American population is affected disproportionately by disenfranchisement laws, as 1 in 13 African Americans of voting age across the nation are prohibited from voting. Click here to read the full report.
Insights & Information
from the fields of Criminal Justice, Recovery and Restoration of Citizenship
IACJ To Honor U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Danny Davis, IL Senator Mattie Hunter and IL Senator Kwame Raoul for Racial and Criminal Justice Reform Efforts
Please join us:
Sunday, March 18, 2012, 3:00 PM
Safer Foundation, 571 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
IACJ will recognize the work of:
- U.S. Senator Dick Durbin for sponsoring the Fair Sentencing Act, signed into law in 2010 and reduces the sentencing disparity in the mandatory penalties for possession of crack versus powder cocaine. Senator Durbin is unable to attend on March 18 and his award will be presented at a later date.
- U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis for sponsoring the Second Chance Act, originally signed into law in 2008 and provides federal seed grants for programs that assist individuals released from prison to successfully reenter society
- IL State Senator Mattie Hunter for leading the Illinois Disproportionate Justice Impact Study Commission, which addresses racial disparities in justice system’s response to drug crimes
- IL State Senator Kwame Raoul for sponsoring the Illinois Crime Reduction Act, which invests in community-based solutions to nonviolent, drug-related crime
With corrections reform at the top of state and federal policy agendas, this is an opportunity to recognize legislators whose leadership has been, and continues to be, instrumental in improving policy.
RSVP: To confirm your attendance, please send an email with your name, title, and organization/affiliation to Jon.Kaplan@SaferFoundation.org.
We look forward to seeing you on March 18!
Hosted by the Honorable Danny K. Davis, 7th District of Illinois
Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26, 2011
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Malcolm X College
1900 W. Van Buren, Chicago, IL
This event is free to participants and open to the public. Come for food, speakers, and workshops.
From perspectives of justice, equality, and fiscal responsibility, one of the most important issues facing Illinois and the nation is that of disproportionate minority contact with the justice system. In 2008, Human Rights Watch reported that Illinois had the dubious distinction of being ranked amongst the top ten states with the greatest racial disparities in prison admissions for drug offenses. Disturbingly, this disparity could not readily be explained by a discrepancy in illicit drug usage. The National and Illinois household surveys on drug abuse show that though the total number of drug users is overwhelmingly white – just under 80 percent nationally and 81 percent in Illinois – people incarcerated on drug offenses are overwhelmingly minorities. The Illinois Department of Corrections reports that most of those incarcerated (80 percent) subsequently return to just ten areas throughout the state, and many return to a small number of communities in close geographic proximity. This mass incarceration puts already destabilized neighborhoods and communities into even further disarray, and has had a devastating impact on minority communities and their children.
Recognizing the implications of these realities for our state, the Commission to Study Disproportionate Justice Impact Act was passed by the Illinois General Assembly unanimously and signed into law by the Governor in 2008. The Act established a commission to ascertain the impact of drug laws on racial and ethnic minority individuals and communities in Illinois. This month marks the official release of the commission’s report, a culmination of almost two years worth of research, data analysis, and public hearings. The study looks not only at the extent of the harm caused to minority communities in Illinois, but also presents recommendations for legislative, policy, and practice changes. The results of this study will have a far-reaching impact on state public policy, criminal justice agencies, and not-for-profits and private agencies.
The DJIS Commission Report will be released on January 31, 2011
Diane Williams, IACJ Chairperson, is Chair of the American Corrections Association’s Disproportionate Minority Contact/Confinement Task Force. The Center for Health and Justice at TASC, under the leadership of IACJ Vice Chairperson Pamela Rodriguez, provided staff support to the commission.
- JHA Report: Menard Correctional Center
- Report: Investigating the Link Between Housing Vouchers and Crime
- Sentencing Project Report: Evaluating the Justice Reinvestment Initiative
- ALERT: HB2265 / SB1003 – Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for Unlawful Use of Weapons Convictions
- ALERT: HB2404 - Raise the Age of Juvenile Court to 18 for All Offenses
- FAMM Report: How Sentencing Safety Valves Can Increase Public Safety and Save Money
- MacArthur Foundation Project: Mistakes Kids Make
- Restorative Justice Town Hall Meeting
- ACLU: Reducing Reliance on Incarceration in 2013
- Sun-Times: End Felony Charges for Prostitution in Illinois
- Chicago News (10)
- Cook County (9)
- corrections spending (41)
- criminal justice system (104)
- diversion (17)
- Drug laws (20)
- employment (17)
- Events (2)
- Expungement (5)
- funding (26)
- Illinois news (49)
- juveniles (19)
- national news (43)
- Pew Center (3)
- Police (7)
- probation (5)
- public opinion (2)
- public safety (16)
- racial disparity (8)
- re-entry (29)
- Sentencing (12)
- state budget (14)
- State News (5)
- Take Action (22)
- The Sentencing Project (8)