The Black legislators representing predominantly Black communities that have been over-policed for decades and have suffered the greatest as a consequence of systemic racism, coupled with community organizers and attorneys who have been on the frontlines of criminal justice reform for upwards of 5 decades, were involved in this debate. This debate did not start last month or even last year. It’s been raging for centuries.
Criminal Justice Reform
One of the problems addressed in the recently passed criminal justice reform legislation is the denial of a person’s right to make phone calls to family and to attorneys when in police custody. The current law was passed in 1963 and calls for reasonable calls within a reasonable amount of time being allowed. In practice this does not pan out – at least not for poor people, Black people, and other people of color. The data on this is damning. This video helps explain why we needed to reform this law and what the new law does.
Will the recently passed reform legislation in Illinois really cause bloodshed as some law enforcement officials claim? This video explains why this reform is necessary and why now is the right time for it.
The challenges to fixing the broken criminal justice system and implementing greater accountability for the police will be a daunting undertaking even if Sheriff Hain and State’s Attorney Mosser re-discover their progressive commitments. The COVID-19 pandemic is resurgent, the wide-spread availability and efficacy of a vaccine remains uncertain, and the commitment of the county board and municipal leaders to rehabilitation and reintegration remains unproven. All of these variables will present additional challenges for all divisions of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office in the months to come.
Junaid “J” M. Afeef ran for Kane County State’s Attorney in the Democratic Primary in March 2020. He was widely endorsed by progressives, e