Process To Streamline Illinois Criminal Code Completed - General News - News | The Joyce Foundation
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Process To Streamline Illinois Criminal Code Completed

October 30, 2012 03:32 PM

CLEAR Initiative completes work to reduce the complexity and size of the Illinois Criminal Code.

The CLEAR Initiative—a bipartisan team of legislative and judicial leaders, defense and prosecutorial legal experts, and policy makers—recently completed eight years of work to reduce the complexity and size of the Illinois Criminal Code, the first overhaul since 1961, to address numerous inconsistencies as well as sentencing rules viewed as unfair and overly restrictive for judges.

CLEAR took out redundancies and unconstitutional sections and reordered the Code to improve indexing, but did not change crimes or punishments. These improvements made the Illinois Criminal Code more understandable to laypeople who want to obey the law and to judges and lawyers who need to apply measures in the Code. The Commission created the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council, which collects data and conducts analyses to help inform future changes in the criminal justice system. Co-Chair and former Governor James R. Thompson said, “By making our laws easier to understand and free of conflicting and even unconstitutional provisions, this new code should make mistakes in criminal trials less likely.”

The CLEAR Commission achieved these results by writing and submitting to the General Assembly a series of bills that address various portions of the Criminal Code. Governor Pat Quinn signed the final bills in August. Read the press release here.

Joyce Foundation grants to Chicago Metropolis 2020 in 2004 (now known as Metropolis Strategies) helped plan and launch the CLEAR Initiative. Metropolis Strategies’ unifying vision is that the region’s governments, businesses, and residents must work together to make the kinds of informed choices that will make the region attractive and economically competitive 10, 50, and 100 years from now.

The Joyce Foundation aims to strengthen our democracy, balance political influence and promote campaign finance reform through the work of our Money and Politics Program. We believe in informing and empowering citizens so they can participate in our democracy. The Foundation works to promote open and ethical government, fair and competitive elections, and an independent judiciary.


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