correctional facilitySPRINGFIELD – Taking a step forward to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and incarcerated individuals, State Senator Willie Preston’s law addressing indecent exposure in correctional facilities goes into effect Monday, Jan. 1.

“We must ensure a safe and respectful environment for every individual held or employed in correctional facilities,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “Indecent exposure within these facilities is a violation of human dignity and a blight on our justice system. Women, especially, are targets of this inappropriate behavior. Through this law, we will be able to address and eradicate these gender targeted incidents, fostering a secure environment for employees and individuals in the state’s care.”

This law amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to create the offense of “lewd sexual display in a penal institution,” making it a Class A misdemeanor for incarcerated individuals to expose themselves with the purpose or effect of intimidating, harassing or threatening someone. Repeat offenders face more severe penalties, with subsequent violations being considered Class 4 felonies. The provisions will also allow for thorough review of annual reports provided by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority in 2028.

Brought forth by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the new law mirrors penalties for public indecency but changes the penalties given the context and motivation of the crime. It excludes juvenile detention facilities, individuals under the age of 18 and those living with a behavioral health issue.

House Bill 1399 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.