Cook County Board chief unveils criminal-justice-reform legislative agenda
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle recently unveiled a legislative agenda that aims to reform the criminal and juvenile justice system.
Preckwinkle said this package of legislative measures aims to address failed laws that haven't been effective over the past 30 years, alleging they have been racially divisive and ultimately ineffective.
The package aims to treat drug abuse as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. It also would bring juvenile-justice laws in line with research and give second chances to juveniles sentenced as adults to lengthy prison sentences. It also would end mandatory sentences for nonviolent offenses and restore the use of judicial discretion in each case.
“I am grateful to Sen. Kwame Raoul; Rep. Elaine Nekritz, the assistant House majority leader; and Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, the House majority leader, for their leadership on these important pieces of legislation, and to the ACLU, the Cook County Public Defender and Restore Justice Illinois for their partnership,” Preckwinkle said.