SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. worked to protect the freedoms of incarcerated individuals by enshrining into law their rights to freely practice their religion.

“When someone commits a crime, they do not cease to be human,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Religious freedom is a fundamental aspect of humanity.”

House Bill 3055 — known as the Faith Behind Bars Act — ensures incarcerated individuals in Illinois remain the right to freely practice their religion while in state correctional facilities.

Under the law, correctional facilities will be required to provide people with religious readings and other religious materials that may be necessary for them to freely practice. It also requires correctional facilities to allow individuals a proper place to pray and adhere to people’s religious dietary restrictions.

“Religion plays an important role in easing a prisoner’s transition back into the community upon release,” said Sims. “Incarcerated individuals deserve to be able to turn to their faith during a time they need it most.”

House Bill 3055 was signed into law Friday.

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