New law aimed at reducing Illinois prison population

CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner has been joined by Democratic lawmakers to sign a measure his office says is “the most comprehensive criminal justice reform” in Illinois history.

The Republican said Friday the new law is part of an effort to reduce Illinois’ prison population by 25 percent by 2025. He says “by signing the bill, we’re doing what’s right for the people of Illinois.

The legislation gives judges more discretion to sentence offenders to probation instead of the Department of Corrections. It expands opportunities for inmates to participate in rehabilitative programs.

It also will establish trauma recovery centers to help people in communities with high rates of violence, particularly children who have witnessed or been victims of crime.

Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul and Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth sponsored the bill.

–Associated Press

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