Urgent: House Bill 163 (Criminal Justice/Police Reform)
Please read below concerning the Criminal Justice/Police Reform Legislation introduced in Springfield last week. Among the flaws of the subject legislation is Article 5 which would eliminate qualified immunity for police officers. There are strong public policy reasons behind immunity for good faith mistakes. Eliminating this will make our state less safe. Please contact your state legislators here to voice your opposition. Thank you.
House Bill 163 is an omnibus bill addressing various issues of criminal justice in Illinois. Omnibus legislation, by definition, packages together a wide range of substantive issues into one bill. As a result, each issue rarely gets its due consideration. Such is the case with House Bill 163. This legislation is 615 pages in length and attempts to address a staggering number of issues encompassing labor law, civil rights, criminal procedure, First Amendment protections, bail reform, police funding and many others. The bill was filed and released to the public less than one week ago. Attempting to hurriedly enact this into law during this week’s lame duck session is reckless. As it now reads, this bill would make communities less safe and greatly increase the danger to police officers on the street. These issues deserve to be considered separately and deliberatively with appropriate input from all concerned, especially the public.
Jerry Joyce, Director
Illinois State Crime Commission/Police Athletic League of Illinois