Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District

 

Dear Friend,

Last week, the Illinois House and Senate met for a short lame-duck session to work on high-priority legislation before the end of the 101st General Assembly.

We passed a number of crucial bills, including measures supporting K-12 and higher education in the state and allowing customers to get alcoholic beverages delivered from their local restaurants.

You may also have heard about House Bill 3653—a criminal justice reform bill—which is receiving significant attention in the media. Unfortunately, some descriptions of the bill have been skewed or are just plain wrong. 

I want to set the record straight about what House Bill 3653 does—and what it doesn’t do.

What does House Bill 3653 do?

  • It improves police training in a number of areas, including use of force, crisis intervention and first aid.
  • It gives law enforcement a path to discover and hold accountable the few officers who engage in misconduct by establishing the use of body cameras statewide by 2025, requiring reporting on deaths in police custody, and ensuring officers who step up to intervene when they witness misconduct are not retaliated against.
  • It protects detainee and victims’ rights by streamlining the victims’ compensation system, ensuring that detainees—especially pregnant women—have access to appropriate medical care, and more.
  • It reforms the judicial system with a special focus on ensuring that no one—regardless of race—is penalized for being poor by abolishing the cash bail system and modernizing sentencing laws.

What does House Bill 3653 NOT do?

  • It does NOT defund the police.
  • It does NOT modify or remove qualified immunity protections for police departments. 
  • It does NOT change or take away collective bargaining rights.
  • It does NOT allow individuals who have been charged with a serious offense, who endanger the safety of the community or who are at risk of willful flight to be released.
  • It does NOT prevent a judge from revoking pretrial release.
  • It does NOT reduce prison time for individuals serving time for heinous crimes.

You might also have heard the bill was rushed through the legislature without appropriate consideration—that’s not true, either. The bill is the result of nine public hearings, 30 hours of testimony and countless meetings with law enforcement professionals, trial lawyers, prosecutors, community members and other groups from across the state. The lame duck session only lasted a few days, but the negotiations on the legislation began months ago.

And most importantly, this bill won’t make our community less safe. 

House Bill 3653 contains targeted, careful reforms to create a criminal justice process that treats everyone equally, while supporting the men and women in uniform who put their lives at risk to protect us. 

If you’d like to learn more, the full bill is available here. With questions about this legislation, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at https://senatorjacquelinecollins.com/contact-us. My staff and I are on hand to make sure you have the facts. 

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Collins
State Senator, 16th Illinois Senate District

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Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607