Simmons HIV NEW rCHICAGO – To better advocate for the interests of children with incarcerated parents in Illinois, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to create the Commission on Children of Incarcerated Parents.

“Today in Illinois, nearly 200,000 children – or one in every 20 – have had a parent in jail or prison. We need to improve the system so that the bond between a parent and their child is honored and strengthened despite the incarceration.”

The Commission, housed within the Department of Human Services, will be tasked with implementing and coordinating the recommendations of the Task Force on Children of Incarcerated Parents within state agencies. The task force, created in 2020 will propose the changes, and the Commission will work with agencies on how to properly implement the changes.

Children whose parents are incarcerated can experience multiple negative effects such as greater mental health symptoms, difficulty with school, housing instability, and overall trauma.

“I am so glad we passed this legislation and look forward to working with House sponsor Rep. Delia Ramirez, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, and the other advocates and stakeholders who worked hard on this effort to implement the commission, said Simmons. We will see this work through so children of incarcerated parents can maintain the most important relationship they have and have their overall needs met across the entire system.”

House Bill 5525 was signed into law on Friday and takes effect on January 1st, 2023.

 

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