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Zalewski to push criminal justice reform in Springfield

Comprehensive criminal justice reform, appropriate state funding for our local schools and continued progress toward a stronger economy and safer neighborhoods are at the top of the list in 2015 for state Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-23rd).

ÒI look forward to working with the new governor and my colleagues in the House on balancing our state budget and on the issues that matter most to the residents of my district,” Zalewski said.

Zalewski and members of the Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee plan to keep working on how Illinois can start reducing penalties for low-level drug offenses and thefts, while also looking at how sentences requiring offenders to serve minimum periods behind bars affect the population and offenders’ chances of committing additional crimes.

ÒWe need to have a serious debate about who are we putting behind bars and why,” Zalewski said. ÒWe want to create a system that redirects low-level offenders who do not need to be imprisoned and who should not return once they are released, and that locks away violent, dangerous criminals to prevent them from wreaking havoc on our streets.”

Zalewski also will work on legislation to promote locking devices on prescription pill bottles to deter abuse.

Zalewski represents the 23rd District, which encompasses all or portions of Bedford Park, Berwyn, Bridgeview, Brookfield, Burbank, Cicero, Countryside, Hickory Hills, Hodgkins, Justice, La Grange, La Grange Park and Riverside in suburban Cook County.

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