Seeking to reduce recidivism by helping former offenders transition more easily back into society, the Illinois Senate approved State Senator Karen McConnaughay’s (R-St. Charles) legislation to provide inmates with a state-issued ID card upon release.
“The importance of having a valid form of identification cannot be overstated. One way to help offenders who are re-entering society and trying to start out on the right foot, is to ensure they can provide the identification they’ll need for job applications, leases, phone service, and credit applications,” said Senator McConnaughay. “The ability to secure employment and other services is a critical part of the re-integration process, but one that is currently unnecessarily difficult for many former inmates to obtain.”
This legislation requires the Department of Corrections and the Secretary of State to work together to issue a state ID card to eligible inmates, who previously had an Illinois driver's license or ID card, and whose identities have been verified, upon release from the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice.
As an appointee to the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, Senator McConnaughay worked with Governor Bruce Rauner and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to explore evidence-based strategies to reduce imprisonment and recidivism rates, while also preserving public safety. Senate Bill 3368 was a product of that effort.
“We have an opportunity to really make a difference in peoples’ lives. We’re seeking to establish new standards so that people begin to have a quality of life they would otherwise not be able to have here in Illinois,” said Senator McConnaughay. “Senate Bill 3368 is a proactive measure that will give past offenders the opportunity to reclaim their lives and become productive members of society.”
Unanimously, Senate Bill 3368 passed through the Senate and now advances to the House for final consideration.