CHICAGO – A longtime advocate of bettering the criminal justice system, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. was named vice chair of the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council.


“To truly combat racism within our criminal justice system we must understand and evaluate our sentencing policies,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “We must use data and academic research to evaluate and improve outcomes in our criminal legal system. The color of your skin or the location of your zip code should never determine the length of your sentence.”

In his role, the Senator will be joined by nearly two dozen other state and local criminal justice system stakeholders including retired judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, victims’ rights advocates and more.

The group will review sentencing policies and practices and examine how those policies impact the criminal justice system as a whole. The non-partisan, independent commission will then report on its findings as it pertains to effectiveness and efficiency of the current sentencing practices.

Sims has served as a leading voice in the effort to reform the state’s criminal justice for many years. He spearheaded efforts to pass a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill that will change the current use of force policy, how courts impose bail and sentence individuals, and advance rights to all Illinois citizens, including detainees and prisoners, to better improve interactions with law enforcement professionals.

“We can’t just put people in jail and forget about them – there needs to be a path back from prison and that starts with how we look at sentencing,” said Sims. “People deserve the opportunity to remake their lives.”

Senator Sims will hold the position of vice chair until next January.