In an effort to alter the language used to describe individuals involved in criminal activities, Democratic state lawmakers in Illinois are seeking to revise a 2009 bill, as reported by Fox News on Wednesday. House Bill 4409, spearheaded by multiple Democrats, aims to modify the Illinois Crime Reduction Act by substituting the term “offenders” with “justice-impacted individuals.”

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Additionally, the proposed amendment calls for the inclusion of new members to the Adult Redeploy Illinois Oversight Board from agencies such as the Illinois Department of Corrections, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Adult Probation departments in Sangamon and Cook Counties. The board would also welcome two members with personal experience in the Adult Redeploy Illinois system, according to the Fox article.

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This legislative development emerges against the backdrop of Illinois being governed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), who secured re-election in 2022, as highlighted by Breitbart News. Notably, Pritzker has faced criticism for his perceived lenient approach towards crime policies.

Furthermore, Illinois made history by becoming the inaugural state in the country to abolish cash bail in September. The proposed reclassification of certain individuals as “justice-impacted individuals” led State Sen. Steve McClure (R) to express concern, as quoted by the Washington Examiner. McClure emphasized the importance of holding individuals accountable for their actions, stating, “There seems to be this rush to take away all accountability for people who commit crimes.”

He continued, “If a person is going to get on the right path, they have to know they did something wrong. This apologizing for the criminal, the person who chooses to commit crimes to the detriment of our victims, the people who don’t choose to be victims of crimes, is absolutely incredible.”

The bill has garnered sponsorship from Democratic Illinois State Reps. Kelly M. Cassidy and Lindsey LaPointe, as well as Democratic State Sens. Robert Peters, Mike Simmons, and Adriane Johnson, according to Fox News. Recently passing through both the state House and Senate, the proposed legislation could impact around 1800 offenders in Illinois.

In response to the bill, McClure raised concerns about the prioritization of criminals over victims, stating, “Change this, change that. The only thing that you don’t want to change is the behavior of criminals. And guess who’s paying for that right now? Victims all across this state. I urge a no vote.”

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