- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation ensuring that people released from prison receive a valid state identification card before departing.

The Republican said Thursday the measure will reduce recidivism. He says offenders will face fewer problems back in the community when they get out of the Departments of Corrections or Juvenile Justice.

“To combat recidivism we need to remove some of the hurdles offenders face when they are released from a detention facility and begin to re-integrate into society,” Rauner said in a statement. “This will help us end the cycle of recidivism and give former offenders more tools necessary to be successful and thrive and gets Illinois on step closer to safely reducuing Illinois’ prison population by 25 percent before 2025.”

The legislation sprung from one of the recommendations made by the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform charged with Rauner to reduce the prison population by the middle of the next decade.

Rauner was joined by Democratic Secretary of State Jesse White and sponsors of the legislation including Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat, St. Charles Republican Sen. Karen McConnaughay and Democratic Chicago Rep. La Shawn Ford.

The law requires the secretary of state’s office to issue a standard Illinois ID card to ex-inmates at the time of release. The inmate must present a birth certificate, Social Security card or other documents and two proofs of address.

“Offenders who have done their time deserve a fair shot once leaving Illinois’ correctional facilities,” McConnaughay said. “The simple act of providing low-level offenders with identification will help them to secure employment, housing, and establish financial stability.”

Those who do not have the necessary documents, the secretary of state will issue a 90-day ID to those presenting state correctional or juvenile justice documents which identify them.


The bill is SB3368 .

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