102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2021 and 2022
Introduced 1/31/2022, by Rep. Theresa Mah
SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
730 ILCS 5/3-7-2
from Ch. 38, par. 1003-7-2
Creates the Faith Behind Bars Act. Provides that a person committed to
a correctional institution or facility has a constitutional right to
practice his or her faith in the correctional institution or facility
absent harm and without undue burden to the State's correctional system.
Provides that a committed person belonging to a faith group in a
correctional institution or facility shall have access to pastoral and
spiritual care absent harm and without undue burden to the State's
correctional system. Provides that a correctional institution or facility
shall provide reading materials for diverse faith groups, including, but
not limited to, spiritual, religious texts, prayer manuals, prayer mats,
and other requested material from committed persons.
Provides that all
correctional institutions and facilities in the State shall provide
committed persons the ability to pray by facilitating time and clean
location, fast by allowing a committed person abstain from food when
appropriate, and respect for dietary restrictions absent harm and without
undue burden to the State's correctional system. Amends the Unified Code
of Corrections to making a conforming change.
A BILL FOR
|HB5455||LRB102 25408 RLC 34693 b|
AN ACT concerning criminal law.
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
This Act may be cited as the
Behind Bars Act.
Findings and declaration of policy.
(a) The General Assembly hereby finds, determines, and
declares the following that:
(1) Chaplains play a key role in helping persons
committed to correctional institutions and facilities
transform their understanding of responsibility, choices,
and possibilities and that behavior only changes when
(2) Without a spiritual-based transformation there is
little hope for sincere, lasting change in any of us.
Without a faith-based after-care living situation an
ex-offender has little chance of succeeding on the street.
(3) That the chaplain's personal contact is crucial. A
chaplain ministers through relationship. Being accepting,
nonjudgmental, and working toward self esteem issues is
(4) According to a Pew Research Center 2012 Study,
Religion in Prisons, 50 state survey of Prison Chaplains,