State Lawmakers to Change ‘Offender’ to ‘Justice-Impacted Individual’

( – Illinois liberal lawmakers have successfully passed a bill that would replace the term “offender” with “justice-impacted individual” for certain criminals who would not face prison under the new legislation.

The bill, named House Bill 4409, has already passed both the chambers of the state legislature and is currently present at the desk of the Illinois liberal governor J. B. Pritzker, who is likely to sign it into law.

Once enacted, the bill would introduce significant changes to the Illinois Crime Reduction Act of 2009, particularly by modifying a substantial part of the Adult Redeploy Illinois Program (ARIP), which aims to cancel prison terms for offenders eligible for probation.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers deem the bill unnecessary and a waste of resources. According to the GOP Senator Terri Bryant, changing the reference to criminals repeatedly will only burden government agencies, which would need to change their documents to accommodate the latest modifications.

Some GOP lawmakers also argued that the bill will only increase the suffering of victims. State conservative Senator Steve McClure said the legislation tries to change everything but criminal behaviors, adding that victims will continue to pay the cost of this pro-crime legislation.

He also stated that these useless changes are pushing the state Corrections Department into the financial doldrums, as the department has to spend money every time these changes are made.

One of the co-sponsors of the bill, Sen. Robert Peters, emphasized the urgency of the bill, claiming that it will improve the effectiveness of the state criminal justice system.

Peters further noted that his bill will deal with prevailing discrepancies and shortcomings present in the ARIP.

Back in April, when the Illinois House of Representatives voted in favor of the bill, Democratic state lawmaker Kelly Cassidy stated that no one who is poised to be released back into society deserves the permanent tag of “offender.”

Some insiders also suggested that Governor Pritzker, who is likely to run for the presidency in future, could face smear campaigns from anti-crime groups should he sign the bill.

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