CHICAGO – State Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to stand with her, and other House Democrats, in enacting honest criminal and juvenile justice reforms that aim to end the school-to-prison pipeline.

“Children living in underprivileged areas in Chicago have been forced to wait for justice that is owed to them for far too long,” Harper said. “Governor Rauner, once again, has a great opportunity in front of him to right past wrongs and allow students to receive the attention they need in schools, which would prevent children from unfairly being swept into the criminal or juvenile justice system.”

Two major criminal justice reforms that Harper is highlighting passed both the House and Senate earlier this year, and now sit on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature to become law. House Bill 2663 would limit early childhood providers from expelling vulnerable students with perceived behavioral issues and encourage them to use community services to work with children and families to address behavioral issues that students might display. Secondly, House Bill 3903 provides that schools shall not maintain criminal processing facilities on their grounds. Harper’s bills seek to shift the way schools treat children more towards caring for children’s behavioral issues versus expelling them on the spot whenever an incident or problem arises.

“The time is now to make the well-being of children our top priority. We need to rid our city and state of bad institutional practices that allow the school-to-prison pipeline to even exist,” said Harper. “Good opportunities rarely present themselves like these, and I cannot stress enough that the governor should act on these bipartisan reform proposals. Let us once more come together, put political philosophies aside and enact these truly meaningful reforms.”

Rep Sonya HarperRep Sonya Harper

6th District

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Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL   62706
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Chicago, IL  60609
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