Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0027
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Full Text of HJR0027  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The benefits of higher education programming
3(HEP)to committed persons and to society are well-documented;
5    WHEREAS, There is clear and documented interest among
6persons committed in the Illinois Department of Corrections
7(IDOC) to participate in higher education opportunities during
8their incarceration; and
9    WHEREAS, There is clear and documented interest among
10public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities in
11Illinois to offer a range of higher education programming
12(e.g., credit-bearing, non-credit bearing, upper-division,
13lower-division, graduate studies) focused on different content
14areas (e.g., arts, liberal arts, technology, humanities,
15business, public policy, and social services) in the State's
16prisons; and
17    WHEREAS, IDOC has committed to improving HEP programming;
19    WHEREAS, IDOC policies can support incarcerated students
20and HEP's efficient operation and growth; and



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1    WHEREAS, Public and private not-for-profit universities
2and colleges in Illinois have primary expertise in running
3higher education at conventional campuses, in-person at IDOC
4facilities, and via correspondence; and
5    WHEREAS, Public and private not-for-profit universities
6and colleges in Illinois have established HEP programs and are
7guided by best practices as articulated by the Illinois
8Coalition for Higher Education in Prison, the Alliance for
9Higher Education in Prison, and other expert bodies; and
10    WHEREAS, A diversity of higher education programs run by
11public and private not-for-profit institutions will best
12respond to the needs and interests of the diverse population
13of persons committed in IDOC; and
14    WHEREAS, The Illinois General Assembly recognizes the
15importance of providing opportunity for all incarcerated in
16Illinois to access HEP; therefore, be it
19SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that there is created the Illinois
20Higher Education in Prison Task Force whose purpose is the
22        (1) To obtain and analyze existing data on HEP in



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1    Illinois;
2        (2) To identify data points that IDOC should collect
3    to allow for meaningful, statewide evaluation of HEP;
4        (3) To assess barriers and opportunities to HEP in
5    Illinois, including barriers and opportunities to
6    continuing higher education upon release from IDOC; and
7        (4) To recommend a legislative action plan to expand
8    access to HEP in Illinois and propel Illinois to being a
9    national exemplar in that area; and be it further
10    RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall consist of the
11following members:
12        (1) The Governor or his or her designee, who will
13    serve as Chair;
14        (2) The Director of the Justice, Equity, and
15    Opportunity Initiative as designated by the Lieutenant
16    Governor;
17        (3) The Director of IDOC or his or her chief of staff;
18        (4) The Chair of the Illinois Board of Higher
19    Education or his or her designee;
20        (5) The Executive Director of the Illinois Community
21    College Board or his or her designee;
22        (6) The Executive Director of the Illinois Criminal
23    Justice Information Authority or his or her designee;
24        (7) One State Representative appointed by the Speaker
25    of the House of Representatives, one State Representative



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1    appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of
2    Representatives, one State Senator appointed by the
3    President of the Senate, and one State Senator appointed
4    by the Minority Leader of the Senate;
5        (8) Two academic officers (e.g., deans or provosts) at
6    institutions currently or formerly involved with HEP in
7    Illinois, one appointed by the Speaker of the House and
8    one by the Minority Leader of the House;
9        (9) Two current or past administrators or instructors
10    in Illinois HEP programs, one appointed by the Speaker of
11    the House and one by the Minority Leader of the House;
12        (10) Two formerly incarcerated individuals who
13    participated in HEP in Illinois, one appointed by the
14    Speaker of the House and one by the Minority Leader of the
15    House;
16        (11) Two recognized experts on HEP, one appointed by
17    the Speaker of the House and one by the Minority Leader of
18    the House; and
19        (12) One member who is a representative of a statewide
20    organization that independently monitors corrections
21    facilities, policies, and practices in Illinois appointed
22    by the Lieutenant Governor; and be it further
23    RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall have all appointments
24made within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution; and be
25it further



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1    RESOLVED, That the Task Force members shall serve without
2compensation; and be it further
3    RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall hold at least six
4meetings, but otherwise shall meet at the call of the Chair;
5and be it further
6    RESOLVED, That the Illinois Criminal Justice Information
7Authority shall provide administrative and technical support
8to the Task Force and be responsible for administering its
9operations and ensuring that the requirements of the Task
10Force are met; and be it further
11    RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall submit its final
12report to the Governor and General Assembly no later than July
1331, 2022; and be it further
14    RESOLVED, That the final report shall be made available
15online for the general public, and upon the release of its
16report, the Task Force is dissolved; and be it further
17    RESOLVED, That the State of Illinois commits to becoming a
18national exemplar of higher education for incarcerated persons
19by supporting and encouraging the establishment of new
20programs and by enhancing existing programs across the State;



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1and be it further
2    RESOLVED, That IDOC is urged to train its correctional
3officers and other personnel on the values of HEP; and be it
5    RESOLVED, That universities and colleges will be in charge
6of admissions, program design, academic content, and
7implementation of their respective programs; and be it further
8    RESOLVED, That IDOC is urged to enact and implement
9internal policies that support HEP programs' efficient
10operation and their growth and that support incarcerated
11students; and be it further
12    RESOLVED, That IDOC is urged to encourage all eligible
13committed persons to apply for higher education programming,
14without restriction as to offense, sentence length, or
15remaining time to be served; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That IDOC is urged to implement transfer holds
17of committed persons enrolled in higher education programming
18until that person completes their courses, unless documented
19safety reasons compel a transfer; and be it further
20    RESOLVED, That IDOC is urged to not discriminate between



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1higher education programs based on whether they offer degrees
2or course credit; and be it further
3    RESOLVED, That IDOC is urged to not prevent committed
4persons from participating in more than one higher education
5program, either concurrently or consecutively, or after they
6have completed a degree while incarcerated; and be it further
7    RESOLVED, That IDOC is urged to not limit HEP
8opportunities to those who have a High School Equivalency
9(HSE) or high school degree diploma or discriminate against
10those programs that do not require a HSE or high school