Legislators unanimously pass law after hearing from justice-involved individuals, community members, and advocates from the Shriver Center.
August 9, 2019
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker today approved a new law requiring the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and Prisoner Review Board (PRB) to collect and annually publish data on their use of electronic monitoring for people on Mandatory Supervised Release (MSR), starting January 1, 2020. Lawmakers’ unanimously passed the Electronic Monitoring Data Collection Act earlier this summer, making Illinois the first state in the country to pass legislation requiring data reporting on its use of electronic monitoring technology.
Being placed on electronic monitoring home detention forces returning citizens to stay inside of their homes except for a few hours a week when they are given permission to leave. Each year, the IDOC and PRB place more than 3,000 people on electronic monitoring after they have completed their prison sentences. The Electronic Monitoring Data Collection Act will help researchers, legislators, and Illinois taxpayers determine whether this program is an effective use of state resources.
Before passing the bill, legislators heard from justice-involved individuals, community members, and members of the Illinois Coalition Challenging E-carceration, including advocates from the Shriver Center on Poverty Law who testified to how the use of electronic monitoring for people who have already completed their prison sentences impedes returning citizens’ ability to reconnect with family and rebuild relationships, secure employment, and shed the stigmatization from being in prison.
Though Illinois pays $6.5 million dollars annually to a private prison company that administers the state’s electronic monitoring program, the IDOC and PRB currently do not provide any data to the public on how it uses the technology or on the effectiveness of this policy.
Under the new law, the two state agencies governing the use of electronic monitoring in Illinois would be required to annually report: