CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – With instances of police misconduct bringing more scrutiny to the administration of police forces not only across the state, but across the nation, state Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Champaign, hosted a community discussion on criminal justice reform on Thursday.
“The goal is to keep being proactive in modernizing how we administrate our criminal justice system.” Ammons said. “These changes are the most important in creating positive relationships between our officers and our communities.”
The Chairman of the House Judiciary- Criminal Committee, state Rep. Elgie Sims, Jr., D-Chicago, and the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, Jim Lewis, joined Ammons to host the interactive forum. On Thursday evening, over 60 community members, including representatives from local law enforcement agencies, filled the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center and were greeted with updates from their state legislators on current reforms on Illinois’ criminal justice system and asked for input on future police reform legislation.
The Ammons-backed police reform bill, Senate Bill 1304, was a key point of discussion in the forum. The measure, which now law, is the first of its kind and has several components, including creating minimum guidelines for the usage of police worn body cameras and mandated receipts for any police stop and frisk. Ammons and her colleagues plan to keep making necessary changes like these to ensure that the state’s criminal justice system is fair and effective.
“Feedback like we received from tonight’s discussion helps us be more effective legislators and helps us better represent the needs of the people when we’re in the capital.” Ammons said. “Even though there have already been a few significant changes to our state’s policies regarding police, there is definitely more work to be done.”