Sen. Willie Preston

SPRINGFIELD – Taking a step forward in ensuring the safety and well-being of employees and incarcerated individuals, State Senator Willie Preston advanced a measure through the Senate addressing indecent exposure in correctional facilities.

"This bill addresses a serious issue that has often gone unnoticed,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “By criminalizing these acts of public indecency, we are taking a strong stand against harassment and intimidation, fostering an environment that prioritizes the well-being of both inmates and staff."

House Bill 1399 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 in the presence of such a display. Repeat offenders would face more severe penalties, with subsequent violations being considered Class 4 felonies. The provisions will be repealed on Jan. 1, 2028, allowing for thorough review of annual reports provided by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

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Category: Press Releases

Preston MaySPRINGFIELD – State Senator Willie Preston passed a measure through the Senate on Wednesday that will require the Secretary of State to provide individuals committed to the Illinois Department of Corrections or the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice with an Illinois ID upon receipt of identifying documents which the IDOC or IDJJ must assist the individual in obtaining.

“When people are incarcerated, especially for long periods of time, the government ID they had when entering prison — like a driver’s license — may no longer be valid when they are released,” said Preston (D- Chicago). “Yet this small piece of plastic is needed for many of life’s basic necessities like housing, employment, medical care, banking, and, for those who need it, government benefit programs like food stamps.”

House Bill 3345 requires the Secretary of State to provide individuals committed to IDOC or IDJJ with an Illinois ID upon receipt of the individual’s birth certificate, social security card, photograph, proof of residency upon discharge, and application which must be submitted 60 days prior to the individual's scheduled release.

The bill has garnered support from community organizations and advocates for criminal justice reform such as Restore Justice, Ex-Cons for Community and Social Change, and the SAFER Foundation.

Each year, more than 600,000 people are released from state and federal prisons. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, 23,791 people were released from prison in Illinois in 2019. Individuals reentering society often face additional barriers when obtaining housing, employment, medical care, financial planning and help through various federal, state and local programs due to difficulties acquiring identification.

“My hope is that with this measure in place, we can give these individuals the peace of mind that they are not alone and won’t suffer in silence with no resources available to them,” said Preston. “We need these changes to ensure everyone gets the respect they deserve and support they need to fully reintegrate into their communities.”

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Category: Press Releases

Sen. Willie Preston

SPRINGFIELD – Each year, thousands of formerly incarcerated individuals struggle to get back on their feet, facing issues to obtain housing, work, medical care and more. A leading factor: a lack of an ID.

State Senator Willie Preston is leading the charge to create a smoother transition back into society by providing them with a form of identification that is necessary for many everyday activities.

"Without a State ID, individuals who are released from jail face significant barriers when trying to secure housing, employment, or even something as basic as opening a bank account,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “By providing them with IDs prior to release, we are giving them a better chance to contribute to society and rebuild their lives."

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Category: Press Releases

Sen. Preston

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Willie Preston shed light on disparities in Illinois’ education system by passing a measure to increase educator diversity by overhauling the outdated teacher evaluation system.

“Increasing diversity in schools should be a priority for Illinois to help the next generation connect with each other and understand different perspectives to develop new ideas and perceptions,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “We cannot uphold that if we are inadvertently pushing teachers out due to outmoded systems.”

Supported by the Chicago Teachers Union, House Bill 3570 would require the Illinois State Board of Education to analyze and assess teacher evaluation data by breaking down information by race and ethnicity of students, teachers, as well as the free and reduced-price lunch status of students. This crucial legislation will empower non-tenured teachers who work in challenging environments and level the playing field for all teachers.

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Category: Press Releases
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Office Info

District Office:
8500 Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL 60652
(773) 912-6255

Springfield Office:
Stratton Office Building
401 S. Spring St.
Section C, Room N
Springfield, IL 62706
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