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FAMM’s Shaneva McReynolds to testify before Illinois House Judiciary Committee
SPRINGFIELD – FAMM’s Illinois State Consultant Dr. Shaneva McReynolds will testify before the Illinois House Judiciary Committee for its hearing on the Earned Reentry bill, which provides a pathway to be granted release by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board for those serving lengthy or life sentences.
“This bill creates an orderly process for the Illinois Prisoner Review Board to determine if people serving draconian sentences can have a second chance,” said McReynolds. “The bill would help to safely decrease the overburdened, expensive Illinois state prison system, and reduce the soaring costs caused by the needs of an aging prison population.”
As of 2020, there were more than 10,000 people serving sentences of 15 years or more in Illinois prisons (including 1,579 people serving life without parole sentences). McReynolds’ testimony is another example of FAMM’s advocacy for second chances in Illinois. Last April the organization released a 28-page report called “Time for Justice: The Urgent Need for Second Chances In Illinois’ Sentencing System.” In September McReynolds testified before the Illinois Resentencing Task Force about the need to create a legislative mechanism for second chances.
“I know from personal experience that second chance opportunities can work,” McReynolds added. “My husband Jeffrey McReynolds secured his release from prison because of federal legislation and has thrived since he came home, including starting a successful trucking business. There are so many others like Jeffrey out there, languishing in prison away from their families. This bill would offer a desperately needed opportunity for a second chance.”
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 an inflexible and draconian 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.
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