A bill that brings sweeping criminal justice and policing reform will soon go into effect in Illinois, and while the focus has been on eliminating cash bail, several other changes are in the pipeline. Classes.
House Bill 3653, drafted by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, was approved by the Illinois General Assembly last year, making “significant changes” to things like police training policies, the police accountability, transparency in law enforcement and the rights of detainees and prisoners, according to Sen. Elgie R. Sims, Jr., who sponsored the bill.
Among the changes in the bill are the elimination of monetary bail, requiring all police officers to wear body cameras by 2025, banning all police chokeholds, new guidelines for the “decertification” of police officers and the end of licenses suspended for non-payment, among several other changes. It also prohibits police departments from purchasing military equipment like .50 caliber rifles and tanks, strengthens protections for whistleblowers and strengthens detainees’ right to make phone calls and access their contacts. personnel prior to police questioning.
Detainees, prisoners and anyone who interacts with the police will expect prompt medical attention while in custody, with special accommodations for pregnant women. Charges of resisting arrest must also cite a rationale for the original arrest that would have been resisted under the measure.
Here is a complete overview of the bill and its amendments:
House Bill 3653 includes “a number of measures aimed at increasing police transparency and accountability,” according to Sims. These include:
- Requires reporting of deaths in police custody.
- Requires police to provide a primary offense for resisting arrest. (That is, a reason an arrest was happening in the first place.)
- Expands police training on use of force and crisis intervention, as well as first aid training.
- Requires statewide standards and services for officers to receive regular mental health screenings and assistance, while ensuring counseling and screenings remain confidential.
- Requires police departments to participate in the FBI’s Use of Force Database and strengthens requirements for the use of lethal force.
- Forbids chokeholds by the police.
- Imposes a duty on the police to intervene in the event of excessive use of force by another officer and to provide assistance if necessary.
- Improves whistleblower protection.
- Extends all use of force restrictions that apply to law enforcement officers to bounty hunters as well.
- Prohibits the use of certain military equipment and provides guidance on the use of crowd control measures.
- Requires keeping records of police misconduct and requires the use of special prosecutors in death cases involving officers.
- Develops the agent misconduct database.
- Removes police discipline from the collective bargaining process.
- Requires the use of body cameras statewide by 2025.
- Removes the requirement for sworn affidavits for complaints of police misconduct.
“Several measures in HB 3653 are aimed at reforming the rights of inmates and prisoners and ensuring that the Illinois criminal justice system is fairer for all,” Sims said in a statement. Among other things, the bill:
- Increase services and programs for pregnant prisoners and demand medical treatment of prisoners and detainees without unreasonable delay.
- Adds new rights for detainees while in police custody, including:
- The right to make three free phone calls within three hours of arriving at the police station and before questioning.
- The ability to retrieve phone numbers from their cell phone’s contact list before the phone is placed in inventory.
- Requires visible notice of these rights at police stations and booking halls. Requires that the telephone number of the public defender or designated prosecutor’s office also be displayed. Provides that in the event of transfer of a person in police custody to a new place of police custody, his right to telephone.
- Prohibits those sentenced to less than four months in prison from being imprisoned and allows them to be diverted to electronic monitoring or another DOC facility or program.
- Ends “prison gerrymandering”, the practice under current law of counting prisoners in a jurisdiction’s census rather than their permanent address.
- Makes changes to streamline the criminal injuries compensation process.
- Promotes the use of co-responder models and improves mental health crisis response data collection.
- Codifies that the use of force by police as punishment or reprisal is prohibited.
- Creates new requirements in the event that police execute no-knock warrants, including that: (1) each participating member be assigned a body-worn camera and follow policies and procedures; (2) steps are taken in planning the search to ensure accuracy and plan for children or other vulnerable people on site; and (3) if an officer becomes aware that the search warrant was executed at an address, unit or apartment different from the place indicated on the search warrant, that member will immediately notify a supervisor who will ensure that an internal investigation ensues. These requirements are based on the Chicago Police Department reforms.
Prohibits the purchase and use of certain military equipment by law enforcement, including:
- Tracked armored vehicles
- Aircraft, ships or armed vehicles
- Firearms and ammunition caliber .50 or greater
- Grenade Launcher
Law enforcement agencies must also publish notice of any application for ownership of a military equipment surplus program.
“HB 3653 also makes a number of changes that specifically affect how people interact with the courts, in a way that will break the cycles of recidivism and incarceration that many Illinois families find themselves in,” wrote Sims. These reforms include:
- Abolish the monetary guarantee.
- Ends the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for non-payment.
- Harmonizes eligibility for Mental Health Court or Veterans and Military Court with other specialized courts.
- Modernizes earned sentence credits and shortens mandatory supervised release times for certain offences.
- Clarifies the “Criminal Murder Rule” and modernizes the Three Strikes Rule.
- Allows courts to deviate from mandatory minimum sentences and implement alternative sentences.
For more information on the Pretrial Fairness Act, which eliminates cash bail, click here.
A law enforcement officer could lose their certification if convicted or convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors under current state law. According to Sims, HB 3653 expands the list of offenses that would prohibit a person from becoming a law enforcement officer or result in their decertification:
- Gives the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board discretion to decertify an officer in certain circumstances.
- Describes the process for receiving and reviewing violations, notice and hearing requirements, and the appeals process.
- Applies to all law enforcement agencies, including state police.
- Expands the State Police Merit Board to seven members.
- Requires officers to complete training verification forms.
- Implements two new officer misconduct databases for transparency purposes.
The following offenses would result in the removal of police officers if convicted, convicted, pleaded nolo contendere, or sentenced to supervision, conditional discharge, or first offender disposition (*** denotes newly added offenses by this invoice):
- Criminal sexual abuse
- Indecent solicitation of a child
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Maintain a place of prostitution
- Aggravated assault
- Criminal sexual abuse
- Deceptive practices
- pretend to be a policeman
- Keep a place to play
- Offer a bribe
- Resisting or obstructing a peace officer
- Escape help
- Harassment of jurors or witnesses
- Simulate a legal process
- advance prostitution
- Profits from prostitution
- Manufacture or delivery of cannabis
- Cannabis delivery on school grounds
- *** Solicitation of a sexual act
- ***public indecency
- ***indecent solicitation of an adult
- ***request to meet a child
- *** domestic battery (all domestic violence convictions prohibit carrying a gun)
- ***interfere with reporting domestic violence
- *** transmission of obscene messages
- ***telephone harassment
- ***harassment by electronic communication
- ***interference with evidence
- ***Any offense affecting government function, such as resisting a peace officer or witness tampering
The following actions could result in the removal of an agent at the discretion of a court:
- Committing an act that would constitute automatic dismissal if prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor.
- Use excessive force in violation of federal or state law.
- Failing to intervene to prevent harm from occurring, including not knowingly and willfully refusing to provide assistance when it is reasonable to administer assistance and assistance is needed.
- Tampering with a dash cam or body-worn camera or directing another for the purpose of concealing, destroying or altering potential evidence.
- Commit perjury, make a false statement, or knowingly tamper with or fabricate evidence.
- Engaging in unprofessional, unethical, deceptive, deleterious conduct or practices harmful to the public (including any deviation from or failure to meet minimum acceptable and prevailing standards of practice for an officer).