Early this month, I was appointed to serve on the Subcommittee on Police Accountability Matters, North Region. The purpose of this subcommittee is to not only hear the voices of people who have witnessed or experienced police brutality, but to also discover ways to improve the relationship of the police with citizens, especially people of color, who have lost their trust with police officers who have pledged to protect them. This is not only an issue in Chicago, but in all major cities across the United States. Given how far we've come to address institutional racism over the last few decades, we clearly have a long way to go. My first meeting will be July 28, and I will keep you up-to-date with this committee work with Twitter
At the last City Council meeting, I sponsored a resolution that urges the Illinois General Assembly to pass meaningful record sealing reform to allow rehabilitated individuals released from prison the chance to move on from their past. There are protections in this resolution that would allow the State's Attorney and others to oppose the record sealing if the offense could impose harm to the rest of society.
Allowing ex-offenders to move forward with their lives is also expected to reduce recidivism. According to the IL Sentencing Policy Advisory Council, 48% of those released from prison each year commit another crime within 3 years of release. Each time this happens in IL, it costs us $118,746, with a total 5 year cost of $16.7 billion to the State of IL for all those returning to the prison system. Doing the right thing is also the most cost effective.