Sims Committee

SPRINGFIELD- Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) advanced legislation today to require that no child in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) store his or her belongings in plastics bags or inappropriate baggage while moving around within the system.

“Some of these children are forced to leave behind toys and other keepsakes because they simply do not have enough storage space for their belongings,” said Sims. “And what do you think that says to a child, when they can’t get a stuffed animal or family photo into a trash bag? This measure simply removes one of the challenges these children face within the DCFS system that seems small but is really about not being cruel.”

Under current law there are no restrictions or requirements for what kind of baggage can be used in the relocation processes of youth. Senate Bill 2177 seeks to ban the use of giving children in custody plastic bags, trash bags, pillow cases and similar containers to store their personal items.

The initiative, led by the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter, passed out of the Senate Health Committee and moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD- Three Illinois police agencies testified before Senator Elgie Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) and the State Law Enforcement Appropriations Committee to present their budget requests for fiscal year 2022, 02192019CM1155Tuesday. The State Police Merit Board, Illinois State Police and the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) highlighted requests for additional staffing purposes, equipment and other line items.

Answering a question on whether State Police’s budget request includes any additional resources to implement the criminal justice reforms under the recently signed SAFE-T Act, ISP Director Brenden Kelly noted that although the department is less affected by the SAFE-T Act than some of the other police agencies, their budget includes a funding request for body cameras and new funding for staffing issues. Kelly also highlighted the continual efforts to hire a more diverse staff, as that remains a serious challenge for the department.

“Creating diversity within Illinois police agencies is a significant priority of the General assembly,” Sims said. “It’s crucial that our officers mirror the communities they serve, and this is why we need to continue efforts to develop good community police relations.”

The Illinois Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) proposed similar requests for funds to address department staffing issues. ILESTB’s budget included appropriations for 15 new positions, equipment for training and squad cars and a plan to modernize logging systems. Director Brent Fischer also mentioned the hurdle of gaining hiring approval from the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) and asked the General Assembly to streamline that and the procurement process.

The hearing comes after the SAFE-T Act which was signed into law Feb. 22. The SAFE-T Act includes several reforms to Illinois’ policing processes, such as prohibiting the destruction of records, removing cash bail; mandating the use of body-warn cameras by all police; and much more.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law today a comprehensive criminal justice reform package put forth by state Senator Elgie Sims, enacting changes in everything from how police are held accountable for the use of force to how courts impose bail and sentence convicts, and what rights all citizens, including detainees and prisoners, have with regard to their interactions with law enforcement officers.

“I’ve said from the start that these reforms should merely be the first steps we take to transform criminal justice in Illinois,” Sims said Monday after Pritzker signed House Bill 3653 at a ceremony at Chicago State University. “We must reimagine accountability. We must reimagine transparency. We must reimagine incarceration. These reforms are a beginning.”

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Category: Press Releases

Category: Press Releases

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