Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HJR0107
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Full Text of HJR0107  94th General Assembly



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2     WHEREAS, Changes over the past several decades in federal
3 and state laws defining crimes, prescribing sentences for
4 crimes, prescribing and limiting services and treatment for
5 persons incarcerated for crimes, and setting conditions and
6 services post-release from prison or jail have resulted in
7 staggering increases in the numbers of persons with past
8 criminal convictions; and
9     WHEREAS, Between 1970 and 2001, the Illinois prison
10 population increased by more than 500 percent, from 7,326 to
11 44,348; and
12     WHEREAS, Nationwide, over 650,000 men and women, a figure
13 larger than the entire population of Boston or Washington, DC,
14 will be released from state and federal confinements in 2006;
15 and
16     WHEREAS, Approximately 244,000 men and women are currently
17 under correctional supervision in Illinois, including those in
18 jail, in prison, on probation, and on parole; and
19     WHEREAS, Almost all - between 95 and 97 percent - of those
20 who are incarcerated or detained in the United States will
21 serve their time and come home; and
22     WHEREAS, Over the past several decades enactment of and
23 changes to federal and state laws limiting opportunities for
24 employment, as well as education, housing, public assistance,
25 and other aspects of civil life, for persons with criminal
26 convictions have resulted in high barriers to those persons'
27 success in society after they have served the sentences for
28 their convictions; and
29     WHEREAS, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich convened the



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1 Statewide Community Safety and Reentry Working Group and
2 Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley convened the Mayoral Policy
3 Caucus on Prisoner Reentry to study prisoner reentry, and the
4 reports and recommendations from those groups are becoming
5 available in 2006; and
6     WHEREAS, Barriers to employment and job promotion for
7 persons with criminal convictions are extremely complex
8 issues, involving, among others, public employers at all levels
9 of government, private employers, labor organizations,
10 education and training institutions, public safety officials,
11 public and private licensing and certification bodies,
12 insurers, employment placement agencies, custodians of and
13 users of arrest and conviction records, drug treatment
14 agencies, and persons with criminal records; and
15     WHEREAS, A thorough examination of the barriers to
16 employment for people with criminal conviction records and a
17 thorough study of ways in which such barriers could be lowered
18 or eliminated without exposing employers, individuals, the
19 general public, or property to unreasonable risk is warranted;
20 therefore, be it
23 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that there is hereby established a
24 Legislative Task Force on Employment of Persons with Past
25 Criminal Convictions; and be it further
26     RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall have the following
27 members:
28     12 voting members, as follows: 3 members of the Senate
29 appointed by the president of the Senate, 3 members of the
30 Senate appointed by the Senate Minority Leader, 3 members of
31 the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the
32 House of Representatives, and 3 members of the House of



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1 Representatives appointed by the House Minority Leader; and be
2 it further
3     RESOLVED, That all actions of the Task Force require the
4 affirmative vote of at least 7 voting members; and be it
5 further
6     RESOLVED, That the following persons shall serve without
7 compensation as ex-officio, non-voting members of the Task
8 Force:
9         (A) The Director of the Illinois Department of
10     Corrections, or his or her designee;
11         (B) The Director of the Illinois Department of
12     Employment Security, or his or her designee;
13         (C) The Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human
14     Services, or his or her designee;
15         (D) The Director of the Illinois Department of Children
16     and Family Services, or his or her designee;
17         (E) The Secretary of the Illinois Department of
18     Financial and Professional Regulation, or his or her
19     designee;
20         (F) The Director of Commerce and Economic Opportunity,
21     or his or her designee; and    
22         (G) The Chairman of the Illinois Human Rights
23     Commission, or his or her designee; and be it further
24     RESOLVED, That the departments of State government and the
25 Illinois Human Rights Commission represented on the Task Force
26 shall work cooperatively to provide administrative support for
27 the Task Force; the Department of Employment Security shall be
28 the primary agency in providing that support; and be it further
29     RESOLVED, That the voting members of the Task Force shall
30 select a chairperson; and be it further
31      RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall conduct public



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1 hearings and examine the barriers faced by persons with past
2 criminal convictions with respect to obtaining employment; and
3 be it further
4     RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall evaluate those
5 recommendations made by the Governor's Statewide Community
6 Safety and Reentry Working Group; and be it further
7     RESOLVED, That the Task Force shall report its findings and
8 recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly in a
9 final report which shall be filed on or before January 1, 2007;
10 the requirement for reporting to the General Assembly shall be
11 satisfied by filing copies of the report with the Speaker, the
12 Minority Leader and the Clerk of the House of Representatives
13 and the President, the Minority Leader and the Secretary of the
14 Senate and the Legislative Research Unit, as required by
15 Section 3.1 of the General Assembly Organization Act, and
16 filing additional copies with the State Government Report
17 Distribution Center for the General Assembly as required under
18 paragraph (t) of Section 7 of the State Library Act; and be it
19 further
20     RESOLVED, That the report shall include, but need not be
21 limited to, the following:
22         (1) An assessment of those collateral consequences of a
23     criminal conviction which impede employment of persons
24     with past criminal convictions, and the experiences of
25     other states in addressing this issue;
26         (2) An assessment of the preparation for gainful
27     employment provided to those incarcerated in Illinois
28     correctional facilities, and the experiences of other
29     states in addressing this issue;
30         (3) An identification of the barriers which impede
31     those with criminal records from obtaining stable
32     employment; and
33         (4) Recommendations for legislative changes necessary



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1     to facilitate the employment of persons with past criminal
2     convictions which, if implemented, would not expose the
3     employer, an individual, the general public, or property to
4     unreasonable risks; and be it further
5     RESOLVED, That within 60 days after the filing of the
6 report, the appropriate standing committees of both the House
7 and the Senate shall hold hearings to consider the
8 recommendations made by the Task Force; and be it further
9     RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this Resolution be
10 transmitted to the ex-officio members of the Task Force.