Illinois Proposes a Two Tiered Judicial System Based on Gender

An Illinois task force, which includes Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is proposing to release large numbers of female criminals from prison. They claim female law breakers should be treated differently than male law breakers.

The Chicago Tribune writes::
"The number of women locked up in Illinois prisons would be cut by as much as half under an ambitious proposal by reform advocates who argue that the corrections system has largely ignored the needs of female inmates, many of whom suffered years of trauma, abuse or poverty before winding up behind bars."
"With 8 of every 10 female inmates in Illinois a mother and often the primary parent, their removal from society has damaging ripple effects on families and neighborhoods, experts say."
 "a 100-member all-female task force of experts, current and former prison officials and formerly incarcerated women will announce a seven-year effort to bring down by 50 percent the number of women in the Illinois Department of Corrections."
"[The group] plans to consider a wide range of options — everything from changing laws to designing more social service programs."
This proposal - by an all woman task force - is suggesting institutionalizing sexism. These women are proposing incarceration be based on gender rather than criminal actions. Many male criminals also suffered years of trauma, abuse or poverty before winding up behind bars. Many are fathers. Why should they be treated differently? Why should they be given more jail time simply because they are not female? Imagine a task force proposing jail time be based on race. Those of a certain skin color can be released earlier than other criminals. Wouldn’t that be considered discrimination? Proposing a judicial system based on gender is no different. ITS DISCRIMINATION.

The Tribune continues:
"Deanne Benos, a former Illinois corrections official who is leading the effort, told the group. “One hundred women, all women, coming together to build and plan and cut the women’s prison population by 50 percent or more.”
Uh, no Dianne. Instead, its 100 women coming together to demand special privilege.

The Chicago Tribune's lengthy, one-sided article attempts to persuade readers female criminals do not belong in jail. Prison is strictly for males.

Why is holding grown adult women accountable for their actions such a problem in this country?

If Illinois adopts the task force's recommendations of leniency for female felons, then male felons should file lawsuits for civil rights violations and sex discrimination. Lawsuits against a state's Department of Corrections are possible.

For example. convicted felon  Taylor Blanchard sued the Wyoming Department of Corrections  claiming her constitutional rights were violated. A judge had sentenced her to 6 years in prison with a recommendation for boot camp. Felons completing a boot camp program can have their sentence reduced. However, Wyoming only operates a boot camp program for men. 

Blanchard's lawsuit was ultimately dismissed by a judge but only because she completed an out of state boot camp program and subsequently had her sentence reduced. Illinois men will be in the same situation as Blanchard.

There is no valid reason criminals should have their sentenced reduced simply because they are female. Grown women should not be shielded from accountability. They are adults. They should be held responsible for their actions. They should be held to the same standard of accountability as men.

August 2, 2018

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