Senator Patricia Van Pelt speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s passage of a balanced budget:

“Tonight, I was proud to reject the funding cuts proposed by Gov. Rauner and instead vote for a responsibly balanced budget that increases funding for programs that help our most vulnerable residents and strengthen our communities.

“This budget increases funding for early childhood and K-12 education by more than $400 million, restores funding to important human service programs like Teen Reach, Redeploy Illinois and community-based violence prevention organizations, invests in life-saving public health initiatives like screening for breast cancer and lead poisoning and gives working families a better shot at sending their kids to college at an affordable price.

“By making responsible cuts to administrative spending, we were able to pass a budget that will help make our neighborhoods safer, keep our children off the streets and provide support for those who need it most.”


###

Category: Press Releases

Senator Patricia Van Pelt speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) that would require state agencies to prioritize funding for communities that have high levels of crime, incarceration and community violence advanced out of the Senate today with strong bipartisan support.

“It’s clear that business as usual isn’t enough to prevent crime and keep our neighborhoods safe,” Van Pelt said. “Neighborhoods hit hardest by crime and violence need special attention in order to address the root cause of violence. Prioritizing funding for areas with high levels of violence and crime is the best way to help struggling communities rebuild.”  

The Safe and Full Employment (SAFE) Zone Act creates a process to identify high-violence communities and prioritize state dollars to go to those communities to fund investment to address the underlying causes of crime and violence.

“Violence is a public health crisis,” Van Pelt said. “In order to address this crisis, we need to make sure we’re strategically directing funds to communities that are hardest hit by violence. The SAFE Zone Act addresses the inequity in the distribution of funds and uses data to determine which neighborhoods are most in need of priority funding.”

HB 5308 creates a board of state and local officials and agencies to coordinate and maximize existing state programs to implement the SAFE Zone Act. The measure calls for the development of an evidence-based, community-designed investment plan through local economic growth councils.


###

Category: Press Releases

Chicago Police CarNPR Illinois - May 14, 2018 | original article

By Sam Dunklau

Illinois legislators are taking up a measure to change the way police gather information for gang databases. It comes after more than a year of controversy surrounding the Chicago Police Department’s data collection practices.

For decades, the Chicago Police Department has kept a running list of people believed to be in one of the city’s gangs. But in the last year, questions have been raised about how the Department goes about adding names. An investigation by ProPublica Illinois showed CPD’s database is riddled with dubious and racially-skewed entries.

State Senator Patricia Van Pelt, a Chicago Democrat, says thousands of black men in their 20s are in the gang database. Many were added without warning, and that info shows up in a background check.

“If they are on that list and they have no way of getting off the list, they have no appeals process, it really tears at the fabric of the community because it can destroy people’s future.”

Records obtained by ProPublica Illinois revealed some 128,000 adults are in that database now, 70% of whom are black or 25% of whom are Latino. 11.5% of those adults are 50 years old or older, a few were listed as more than 100 years old.

State Senator Jacqui Collins (D, Chicago) is supporting the legislation. She says someone can be added to the list for something as simple as not showing up to school.

“We want to ensure police have the tools they need to fight crime, but a poorly-kept database is a blunt and ineffective tool that opens the door for many civil rights abuses,” she explained.

Sen. Van Pelt’s bill would change that, requiring the state police to inform people if they’re added to a gang database, and allow them to appeal if they believed they've been wrongly added.

The Chicago Police Department says the measure is reasonable and has pledged to make changes.

Category: Latest

Senator Patricia Van Pelt introduces her measure to reform gang databases during a press conferenceSPRINGFIELD – Use of controversial gang databases by police would be reformed under legislation introduced today by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt.

“My goal is to reform the use of gang databases so that we can ensure the data is accurate and can be effective in helping reduce gang-related activity while still protecting people’s rights.” Van Pelt, a Chicago Democrat, said. “We need to make sure people aren’t being added to the gang database when they shouldn’t be, something that has proven to be problematic for countless Chicagoans over the years.”

The legislation was crafted after experts, advocates and community members voiced their concerns at an April 20 Senate committee hearing about the Chicago Police Department’s use of gang databases and its effect on communities.

“For too long, law enforcement has operated flawed databases with little oversight and questionable reasoning for adding names to the lists,” Van Pelt said. “This legislation will provide more oversight and help protect the rights of innocent individuals who shouldn’t be on the list.”

The use of gang databases to track individuals labeled as suspected gang members has been called into question in recent months after investigative reports found that hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans have been added to gang databases.

Within the demographic of young black men aged 20-29, 53,418 (up to 89% of population) are in the Chicago Police Department's gang database.

Senate Bill 275 does the following
–    Creates rules around how local law enforcement agencies handle shared gang databases.
–    Requires the Illinois State Police to create a system of notifying people they’ve been added to a local law enforcement agency shared gang database. Requires the state police to create an appeals process so that people’s names can be removed if they’ve been added incorrectly and allows a person to petition the court if their appeal is denied by the state police.
–    Creates the Gang Database Technical Advisory Task Force, which will advise the Illinois State Police on rules, oversight, operation and implementation of this act.
–    Requires that all shared gang databases in Illinois be frozen on Jan. 1, 2019. No one can be added to the gang databases until the controlling law enforcement agency has purged all people who should not be on the list and the Illinois attorney general has certified this has been done.
–    Requires the Illinois State Police to audit all shared gang databases to certify that the people who’ve been added to them should be on them.
–    Limits gang database access to only law enforcement and their support staff, and restricts the information from being used in employer background checks or by federal immigration officials.

###

Category: Press Releases
E-Newsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

pvp lawenfrcmt petition

work4il

Social Networks

facebook logotwitter-button

Office Info

District Office
1016 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607 
(312) 888-9191
(312) 277-3716 FAX

Springfield Office
218A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-6252