A Second Chance for Reformed Prisoners
Currently, Illinois has no parole policy, even for reformed, rehabilitated inmates. Right now, men and women sentenced to life in prison in the state of Illinois have no hope of ever being released, despite many of them having turned over a new leaf in life and having succeeded with rehabilitation. A legislative bill, HB 4154, also referred to as Elderly Sentencing Adjustment, would allow inmates who have served 25 straight years in prison and who are at least 50 years old, to be eligible to petition for early release. This will not only give those rehabilitated inmates a second chance at life, but will save Illinois taxpayers millions of dollars each year, because the cost to house each inmate is approximately $40,000 annually. A study was conducted in the state of Pennsylvania, in which released inmates were evaluated to determine the probablity of the parolees reoffending. Less than 2% of parolees over the age of 50 who had served 20 or more consecutive years in prison committed new crimes, and none of those were violent crimes involving people. Elderly inmates (those over 50 years of age) are statistically the least likely to reoffend. The HB 4154 bill will not open the floodgates; inmates who qualify will have to meet rigid guidelines and must be able to prove their rehabilitation. Serving 25 straight years behind bars is hardly a slap on the wrist, and many of these inmates have paid the price for their crimes. Please pledge your support for bill HB 4154 by signing this petition. You can give these men and women a glimmer of hope for the future: the opportunity to earn their freedom. The signatures collected on this petition will be forwarded to community activist and HB 4154 sponsor, Bill Ryan. Please help us, and thank you for your time and consideration.