SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Formerly incarcerated Illinoisans will be better prepared to successfully re-enter society and secure work and housing under a new law enacted by state Rep. Cyril Nichols, D-Chicago, ensuring ex-offenders are released with a free state ID card.

“A person leaving incarceration needs to find a job, find housing, set up utilities—just the same as each of us—only they have to do all of those things all at once, from scratch,” Nichols said. “Without an ID, it’s all just that much harder, and some people won’t be able to manage, possibly even being driven to reoffend just to survive. And whose interests are served by that?”

Nichols sponsored House Bill 3345, which ensures that the Department of Corrections will provide an official Illinois Identification Card to each incarcerated person, at no charge, one week before their scheduled release.

The bill passed the House with a bipartisan majority and cleared the Senate unanimously. It was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on July 28.

“Forcing a person who has been incarcerated to navigate the normal ID process after release, before they can secure a stable living situation, is an unnecessary complication which needlessly contributes to reintegration issues and, too often, to recidivism,” Nichols said. “This is a problem that is easy to solve and that’s why choosing to solve it was the right choice.”

Rep. Cyril NicholsRep. Cyril Nichols

32nd District

Springfield Office:
200-5S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1702

District Office:
4651 W. 79th Street
Suite 205
Chicago, IL 60652
(773) 581-9250
(773) 581-9260 FAX