Governor urges action on legislation to reduce prisoner recidivism
10/5/2016, 7:49 p.m.
Prior to a meeting of the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, Governor Bruce Rauner, Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) voiced their support for the General Assembly to pass bipartisan 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. For a newly-released offender preparing to re-enter society, the importance of having a valid form of identification cannot be overstated, as its needed to do basic things like sign a lease, get a cell phone, or open a bank account. I urge the House of Representatives to join us in helping to end the cycle of recidivism by giving former offenders another tool necessary to be successful and thrive.”
SB 3368, which was approved unanimously by the Senate in April, 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, 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.
“Providing ex-offenders with legal identification upon release is one of many innovative, commonsense proposals coming out of the bipartisan work of the Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform,” said Sen. Raoul. “Not everything we must do to drive down recidivism and reduce our prison population is as straightforward as this legislation, but this is one simple step we should take immediately to aid in the successful re-entry of those who have paid their debts to society.”
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.