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In case you missed it, Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to provide first new opportunities for parole in Illinois since 1978. 

HB 531 SA 1 brings back an improved parole system only for younger offenders.

  • Creates mid-sentence parole consideration for those 20 or under when crime occurred.
    • Consideration after 10 actual years of incarceration for most crimes, with additional consideration hearings at 15 and 20 years if denied release.
    • Consideration after 20 actual years of incarceration for ?rst-degree murder and aggravated criminal sexual assault, with additional consideration at 30.
  • Does not apply to (A) those sentenced to natural life (B) predatory criminal sexual assault (C) murder of a police officer (or other peace officer),
  • Ensures that victims, witnesses, and other concerned citizens may be heard (protecting identities) by the Board whenever release is considered.
  • Provides attorneys to indigent applicants to aid in case for parole.
  • Prospective only (no one currently incarcerated is eligible).
  • Allows for the Board to fully investigate and allow the supervised release of those inmates who have demonstrated actual rehabilitation.

The bill to reestablish a parole system in Illinois, although very limited to new offenders 20 years old or younger, is a nevertheless a breakthrough that can be expanded in future years.  Contact Governor Rauner at +1 (312) 814-2121 or +1 (217) 782-0244 to advocate his signature.