Illinois Parole System To See Sweeping Changes
A federal judge gave final approval Wednesday to a settlement agreement between the state of Illinois and attorneys representing 28,000 parolees.
The agreement means the end of a yearslong class action lawsuit that claimed by sending parolees back to prison without providing them attorneys the state violated their due process rights.
“The settlement...will bring relief to tens of thousands of parolees who’ve been going through a process and having their rights violated every single day,” said attorney Sheila Bedi.
The multi-part agreement requires the state to present evidence to an impartial hearing officer if they want to revoke someone’s parole and send them back to prison.
The state also has to provide attorneys for those parolees and pay for an independent monitor to make sure they’re actually doing those things.
Illinois now has nine months to get its parole review system in compliance with federal law.
In a statement, Illinois Department of Corrections Director John Baldwin said “the agreement restores integrity to the parole revocation process.”