Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is predicted to signal the invoice into legislation, which might go into impact in January 2022 and amend the Re-Getting into Residents Civics Training Act handed in 2019 that created a civics schooling curriculum and elevated entry to voter registration throughout all Illinois prisons.
That 2019 legislation was a product of a collaboration between college students on the Stateville Correctional Heart, Chicago Votes, and the Chicago Legal professionals’ Committee for Civil Rights. The identical teams later labored with state juvenile justice officers to barter the newest modification with the assistance of Illinois State Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago.
“Being an individual who was affected by the (prison) justice system, you’re instructed you’re by no means going to have the ability to vote once more,” stated Javier Reyes, a previously incarcerated organizer with Chicago Votes. “So when these payments get handed, now you’re capable of give folks the proper data. You’re capable of empower them.”
Christina Rivers, an affiliate professor of political science at DePaul College, and her college students, performed important roles in getting the 2019 invoice drafted.
Earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic, Rivers taught a category each different 12 months on the Stateville Correctional Heart in Crest Hill, Illinois, on legislation and politics attended by incarcerated folks and DePaul college students.
Throughout Rivers’ first 12 months instructing the course in 2016, her college students determined to give attention to felony disenfranchisement for a bunch undertaking and subsequently wrote the preliminary drafts for the laws. They partnered with Chicago Votes and Chicago Legal professionals’ Committee for Civil Rights to put in writing a legislative proposal. Three years later, it was signed into legislation because the Re-Getting into Residents Civics Training Act.