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FAMM’s Shaneva McReynolds testifies before Illinois Resentencing Task Force
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Shaneva McReynolds, FAMM Consultant and Advocate, testified today before the Illinois Resentencing Task Force about the importance of providing second chance legislative mechanisms to safely reduce the state’s prison population.
“Illinois needs to pass legislation to provide people with life and long sentences an opportunity for resentencing or parole,” said McReynolds. “We must commit to fair, rational, and humane sentencing practices which allow incarcerated people to prepare to re-join their families and communities. Second chances mechanisms offer hope and hope directly translates to public safety.”
McReynolds brings a unique personal perspective to the subject matter. She married her husband Jeffrey while he was incarcerated. Two forms of federal sentencing reform legislation with retroactivity provisions – Drugs Minus Two Amendments and The Fair Sentencing Act – allowed his release date to move from 2025 to 2015.
Jeffrey has since started his own successful logistics company. He has made a point of hiring many returning citizens so they can more quickly become productive members of their community.
As of 2020, there were over 10,000 people serving sentences of 15 years or more in Illinois prisons (including 1,579 people serving life without parole sentences). Illinois’ reliance on lengthy sentences has led to an increasingly older prison population – with nearly 1 in 4 people incarcerated in Illinois prisons over the age of 50.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal levels and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safely reduce incarceration, save taxpayer dollars, and keep families together. Founded in 1991, FAMM has secured bold sentencing and prison reform across the country while elevating the voices of directly impacted individuals and families.