Lightford052819SPRINGFIELD – Children taken into protective custody under suspicion of abuse could soon take part in a forensic interview without parental consent as a result of legislation by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

House Bill 909, approved by the Senate on Friday, addresses issues in cases where an abused minor’s parents do not wish for the child to participate in a criminal investigation that may implicate a family member or close friend.

“Children need to feel safe and empowered to report their abuser, and most importantly, have the opportunity to end their abuse,” Lightford said. “By removing parental consent, we are ensuring that no child will be forced to stay silent.”

A forensic interview is an interview between a trained forensic interviewer and a child in which the interviewer obtains information in an unbiased and fact-finding manner, with the goal of supporting accurate and fair decision-making by caseworkers in the criminal justice and child protection systems.

The measure moves to the governor for final approval.

Category: News

cancersurvivor celebrationThe West Suburban Medical Center is hosting its Annual Cancer Survivor Celebration on June 7. If you are a cancer survivor, please call to reserve a spot.

Category: News

Lightford052719SPRINGFIELD – To decrease the use of suspensions and expulsions for student discipline, Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is leading legislation that requires school districts to report the number of days missed for disciplinary reasons.

“Losing time in the classroom has not proven to be a successful disciplinary measure for students,” Lightford said. “Our children have real issues that need addressing and taking a timeout is not going to help. They need access to resources that support their mental health, and get them on track to learn.”

House Bill 2084 requires the Illinois Board of Education to collect information from school districts on the amount of days missed to suspensions, how many arrest were made on school grounds and other related incidents for the board’s annual report.

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Category: News

Lightford052419SPRINGFIELD – Prison inmates who are required to serve most of their sentences could soon reduce them by successfully completing classes aimed at rehabilitation under a proposal led by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).

“We are working to increase participation in programs that prepare inmates for re-entry into our society,” Lightford said. “When we release people from the criminal justice system, they have a better chance of not returning to it if they can get their life back on track.”

Currently, individuals sentenced under truth-in-sentencing provisions, who are required to serve 85 percent or 100 percent of their sentence, are ineligible to receive sentencing credit for successful completion of classes with educational, substance abuse, vocational or re-entry focus.

Other incarcerated persons can currently receive additional sentence credits for engaging in full-time substance abuse programs, correctional industry assignments, educational programs, behavior modification programs, life skills courses or re-entry planning programs.

House Bill 94 allows for individuals serving a sentence for an offense committed before the enactment of truth-in-sentencing on June 19, 1998 to be eligible for good time sentence credits in the future and retroactively for completion of those programs.

Currently, the Director of the Department of Corrections can award an additional 180 days of good conduct credit to incarcerated individuals for compliance with rules or service to the public. The department is also required to provide an additional 90 days of sentence credit to any incarcerated person who passes high school equivalency testing while incarcerated.

The measure was approved by the Senate on Friday, and will head back to the House on concurrence.

Category: News

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