August 22, 2015

State expands ‘certificates of good conduct’ for former offenders

New law gives former offenders the chance to demonstrate rehabilitation and find employment.

Illinois has taken an important step toward getting more former offenders back to work. On Aug. 17, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 3475, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016, and expands eligibility for “Certificates of Good Conduct.” Ex-offenders can show these certificates to potential employers as evidence that they have made significant strides in reforming their lives.

A Certificate of Good Conduct is issued by the circuit court that sentenced the offender after a judge reviews the offender’s record. The offender must not only show that he has refrained from further criminal activity, but also that he has taken positive steps to improve himself. Accomplishments like returning to school or completing a job-training program can help demonstrate this.

READ MORE. By Bryant Jackson-Greene, a criminal justice reform policy analyst at the Illinois Policy Institute.

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