A Streamlined Criminal Justice Reform Plan Is What Illinois Needs

The recently announced Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative aims to centralize criminal justice reform efforts, and the criminal defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec are optimistic about its mission.

Woodridge, Illinois, UNITED STATES

Chicago, Illinois, May 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the announcement of the Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative, Illinois is poised to make dramatic changes that help the lives of many state residents who have been convicted of non-violent crimes. Attorneys at Illinois criminal defense law firm Wolfe & Stec believe the efforts are much-needed.


“The public’s attitudes about non-violent offenders have evolved significantly over the years, but our justice system hasn’t kept the pace,” said Marc Wolfe. “Many lawmakers are ready to make reform happen, and the formation of this office is a sign that we are finally heading in the right direction.”


Many polls have shown that Americans want to reduce mass incarceration in the United States, and a majority of people polled believe that non-violent offenders with a low-risk of committing another crime should face less prison time. One poll suggested that more than 90 percent of Illinois voters favor reducing prison time for individuals convicted of low-risk, non-violent offenses in Illinois prisons.


The Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative plans to tackle several issues that concern reform advocates, including marijuana legalization, reducing recidivism rates, smarter sentencing protocols and pushing for economic development in poorer communities.


Though these reforms have long been pushed by reform advocates, the Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative plans to connect groups with similar goals to bolster support and create a dialogue over needed reforms.


“There’s broad support for many aspects of criminal justice reform,” said Natalie Stec. “Support crosses party lines and appeals to several groups that believe we have a flawed justice system. Centralizing reform efforts is essential if we want to make significant changes.”


The criminal defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec said that the longer Illinois lawmakers wait to address our criminal justice system’s shortcomings, the more people will be placed into a system that presents unjust setbacks in life.


“Recidivism rates in Illinois tell the story of how our system is failing our residents,” Stec said. “People that we should rehabilitate are instead punished, and they face nearly insurmountable challenges when they attempt to re-enter society. We need reform, and we need it soon.”


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