Saturday, October 23, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

New IL Law Affects People in "Restorative-Justice" Programs


Monday, July 19, 2021   

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A bill signed into law in Springfield protects the participants in restorative-justice practices from having what they do or say used against them in court.

Restorative justice is a voluntary alternative to the criminal legal system. It brings together offenders and victims to find ways to repair the harm done, and the methods vary from group meetings or peacemaking circles, to mediation-style communications.

Madeleine Behr, policy manager for the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, said legal privilege will make these practices more viable options for survivors.

"Now, without this privilege, that really deters people who have caused harm from being open and honest in the process about what actually happened," Behr explained. "And for a survivor, so many people are looking for an apology, a reckoning, an admission of guilt."

Behr added the criminal legal system can be traumatizing for survivors, who may have to convince prosecutors of what happened to them or testify in court. Public opinion polls show more than 60% of Americans support restorative-justice policies.

Behr pointed out there is a common misperception criminal-justice reform and victim advocacy are oppositional. But she argued restorative justice is an example of the crucial collaboration between reformers and advocates for victims' rights.

"It not only offers perpetrators to take accountability and recognize the harm that they've caused in a different way, but it also really expands options for survivors, who are looking for some form of accountability and probably don't want to get it from the criminal legal system, for a whole host of reasons," Behr stated.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker also signed laws to end deception in interrogations of juveniles, to allow state's attorneys to petition for re-sentencing of offenders, and create a task force to study ways to reduce the prison population.

Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, who sponsored the restorative-justice bill, said the laws are important steps, and even more can be done to ensure public safety.

"Where everyone has a roof over their head, a good school, a good job, a sense of neighborly love and community, that is real public safety for all," Peters stressed.

get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021