On November 15th, a co-authored editorial from Illinois State Rep. Christian Mitchell and Illinois State Sen. Kwame Raoul was published in the Chicago Tribune, “Being smart and tough on crime.” The article follows the close of the Illinois General Assembly’s October and November veto session during which lawmakers continued debating increasing mandatory minimum for gun offenses. The Illinois House Judiciary Committee had convened multiple times to consider amendments to SB1342. The message Rep. C. Mitchell and Sen. Raoul shared with readers, argues that there are better ways to address violence:
There is a temptation in government to respond quickly to a crisis without thinking through the long-term consequences…
It’s been a problem in Springfield for a long time on a number of issues. In the recent veto session, the General Assembly was on the verge of doing it again by passing a bill to lengthen prison terms for gun crimes. The consequences would have extended beyond the extra $600 million in prison costs over a decade. Without a more comprehensive approach, the increased inmate load could cause irreparable damage to a troubled criminal justice system that has already caused irreparable damage to thousands of men and women — many of them black and brown.
For additional resources related to this specific issue, view the links to recent publications below.
An excerpt from the John Howard Association of Illinois response: