Never Fully Free: The Scale and Impact of Permanent Punishments on People with Criminal Records in Illinois
Katie Buitrago and Sandra Escobar-Schulz, Social Impact Research Center
This first-of-its-kind study from the Social Impact Research Center at the Heartland Alliance confirms that more than 3.3 million people in Illinois could be impacted by permanent punishments as a result of prior "criminal justice system" involvement, which, the authors argue, is more accurately referred to as the "criminal legal system" given the well-documented inequities that bring into question whether the system actually brings justice to people who come into contact with it.
The report asserts that the numerous laws and barriers aimed at people with records represent permanent punishments that limit their human rights and restrict access to the crucial resources needed to re-build their lives, such as employment, housing, and education. The report recommends a broad dismantling of permanent punishments, so that those who have been involved with the criminal legal system have the opportunity to fully participate in society.