02052020CM0320SPRINGFIELD – Family members of people serving time would be ensured fair treatment by the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) under a new bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

“A family member might travel for hours to see their loved one and then can be denied the visit on a whim,” said Fine. “We need to respect these families and give visitors the power to make sure their grievances and suggestions are heard.”

The measure requires IDOC to appoint a point-of-contact person to receive suggestions, complaints and other comments from visitors to prison facilities, and from other members of the public.

To draft the legislation, Fine partnered with Restore Justice, a Chicago-based organization that advocates for fairness, humanity and compassion throughout the Illinois criminal justice system.

The Restore Justice team has witnessed countless visitors being turned away unfairly. In one instance, staff confiscated a baby blanket from a family with an infant and denied a visit when the infant cried, claiming that the child was being disruptive.

Many of the families who work with Restore Justice were unwilling to be identified for fear that prison staff might retaliate and deny future visits to their loved ones.

“People shouldn’t be afraid to speak out against injustice,” said Fine. “It’s time to introduce criminal justice reforms that ensure everyone is treated with fairness and empathy—not only those who are incarcerated, but also the people who love them.”

Senate Bill 2311 advanced out of the Senate State Government Committee and now goes before the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

02202019CM0576SPRINGFIELD – In response to Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget address today, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) issued the following statement:

“I was heartened to hear Gov. Pritzker reaffirm his commitment to reforming our state’s juvenile justice system in his budget proposal.

“For too long, the incarceration of children has caused lasting harm to families and communities across the state. The lack of restorative justice alternatives available for these youths is a lost opportunity for progress and rehabilitation that has proven devastating for generations of Illinoisans.

“To begin the healing process, we must begin to reform the way our justice system treats juvenile offenders. A budget that invests in court diversion and restorative justice programs is the first step toward long-term recovery for our families, our neighborhoods and our state.

“I support a budget that provides much needed funding to our Department of Juvenile Justice and starts Illinois on the path toward a criminal justice system that gives our youths the chance to reach their full potential.”

Category: Press Releases

IAPD 1SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has begun accepting applications for the 2020 DCFS Scholarship Program, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) announced today.

“All kids deserve the opportunity to pursue their college dreams without having to worry about expenses, including those who are or have been in DCFS care,” said Fine. “This program could give a boost to the students who need this help the most.”

The DCFS Scholarship Program is open to youth who have an open DCFS case, whose cases were closed through adoption or guardianship or who aged out of care at 18 or older. Youth who are at least 16 years old and not yet 21 on March 31 may apply.

Through the program, 53 academic scholarships will be awarded to current and former youth in care for the upcoming school year. Four of these awards are reserved for the children of veterans.

Scholarship recipients will be selected based on their academic record, community and extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation and a written statement. The scholarship covers up to five consecutive years of tuition and academic fee waivers to be used at participating Illinois state community colleges and universities, a monthly grant of $537 to offset other expenses and a medical card.

“An education can open up so many new doors,” said Fine. “I hope to see lots of students take advantage of this important program.”

Applications are available at any DCFS regional office and on the DCFS website. Students or caregivers may call the DCFS Office of Education and Transition Services at 217-557-2689 or 312-814-5959 with questions about the application process or for more information.

Category: Press Releases

01292020CM0728SPRINGFIELD – In response to Gov. JB Pritzker’s State of the State address today, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) issued the following statement:

“I was heartened to hear Gov. Pritzker reaffirm his commitment to making health care affordable and accessible for all Illinoisans in his State of the State address today.

“Outrageous medical costs place life-saving prescriptions, vital procedures and even routine checkups out of reach for many Illinoisans and their families. For too long, patients have been unable to afford the care they desperately need.

“Certainly, we’ve had some recent victories, but we can do so much more. It’s time to prioritize patient health over profits.

“In the coming weeks and months of legislative session, I am eager to join the governor and my fellow legislators to make this vision into a reality.”

Category: Press Releases

 

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Contact Information

Springfield Office:
M115 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-2119

District Office:
1812 Waukegan Road
Suite A
Glenview, IL 60025
(847) 998-1717

laura@senatorfine.com