Social Change Bills Ride the Omnibus to Historic Police and Justice Reform

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Civil rights. Mass incarceration. Police accountability. Topics we’ve been discussing for centuries–but even more so in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Today, the Illinois State Legislature did something about them. It passed the most significant package of justice and police reform legislation in not just the state’s, but the nation’s history.

The controversial package referenced is the 764-page justice and police reform omnibus bill marshalled by State Representative Justin Slaughter, State Senator Elgie Sims, Jr., others in the General Assembly, and stakeholders from across the state. “We can’t be more grateful that this omnibus bill includes not one, not even 5, but 10 of the legislative efforts Social Change authored, negotiated, advocated for, or has otherwise been fighting for relating to justice and police reform,” noted Social Change’s Executive Director Todd Belcore, “not just because it reflects the hard work we’ve put into amplifying the voices of families and communities in the halls of Springfield, but because of the real impact it’ll have on the lives of people in communities across the state.”

Specifically, the Social Change measures in the omnibus bill relate to addressing:

  • Cash bail, so a person’s freedom isn’t dependent on their wealth;
  • Sentencing, so judges are no longer forced to throw non-violent offenders in prison when justice requires otherwise, and the defendants aren’t a risk to public safety;
  • Whistleblowing, so police who stand up and speak out are better protected;
  • Lengthening records access, to increase transparency in government;
  • Protecting the civil rights of detainees, ensuring swift access to the phone calls and counsel;
  • Use of force, modernizing the use of force statute so more lives are preserved;
  • Accountability, relating to:
    • Lying on police reports,
    • Failing to intervene,
    • Not using body cams properly and other misconduct, and,
    • Clarifying accountability so things like administrative leave are applied more appropriately.

What’s next? “Tackling voter suppression and creating more pathways to employment, business ownership and family reunification,” Todd added.

Stay tuned.

About Social Change. Social Change is a national nonprofit committed to liberation via storytelling, organizing, direct action and policy advocacy. Check them out and follow them at or @CHIsocialchange on all social media platforms.

For More Information, Contact:
Todd Belcore