The Quad Cities will be home to a new chapter of an Illinois state-wide coalition dedicated to end permanent punishments for those with criminal records.
Human rights advocates across the QCA are meeting Tuesday to join with Fully Free, an Illinois multi-year effort to end the hundreds of Illinois laws and sanctions that bar people with records from achieving opportunity and self-sufficiency.
Campaign manager for Fully Free Marlon Chamberlain, who spent 10 years in prison, said the coalition plans to remove hundreds of legal barriers to housing, education and economic opportunity in Illinois. Chamberlain has spent the last 10 years working to develop coalitions across the state to make changes in Illinois laws.
The campaign was formed as a response to a Social IMPACT research center study that revealed permanent punishments impact more than 3.3 million people in Illinois, due to former criminal legal system involvement. The report highlighted the critical need to create a state-wide campaign to dismantle permanent punishments.
Project NOW executive director Dwight Ford said returning citizens should be afforded the right of economic opportunity. Ford said, “we have a moral responsibility to ensure these penalties are not permanent so we can move people out of poverty regardless of their past so they can begin contributing to the tax base and taking care of their families financially”.
A news conference announcing the new Quad-City Fully Free chapter is scheduled for Tuesday, September 28 in Moline.