CHICAGO – With today’s signing of landmark criminal justice reform by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, is highlighting his “No Representation Without Population Act” component of the measure that will require incarcerated individuals to be counted at their home address for redistricting purposes, not their prison location.

“Today we reversed a reckless political policy that disadvantaged residents and the communities they call home,” Ford said. “Most of the state’s prisoners are Black and Latino residents of Chicago, but they have been counted as residents of downstate prisons helping to boost populations in districts they hardly would call home. By making this change, we are reversing a policy that misrepresented our state’s demographic makeup and skewed its system of representation and resources.”

Pritzker signed House Bill 3653 on Monday, a criminal justice and police reform package authored by the Black Caucus after months of feedback from advocates, lawmakers and communities. The final version of the bill included Ford’s No Representation Without Population Act, and represents the culmination of a decade of work from Ford pushing the proposal. By reversing the process of “prison gerrymandering,” Ford is hopeful that disadvantaged communities will receive greater attention as downstate voting imbalances are addressed.

“As a society, we have had an incarceration problem that needs to be addressed on multiple levels,” Ford said. “Too often politics can be a roadblock to doing the right thing, but by ending prison gerrymandering, we are removing one such political hurdle for progress. While the job is not fully over and challenges remain, I want to thank Governor Pritzker, my colleagues and the countless advocates who spent years working to get us to today.”

Rep. La Shawn FordRep. La Shawn Ford

8th District

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