peters 032321SPRINGFIELD – Building upon a law he sponsored in the previous General Assembly, State Senator Robert Peters’ (D-Chicago) new measure would extend required civics education to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

“Just because a person is incarcerated does not mean they lose the rights that past generations have fought and died to guarantee them,” Peters said. “Folks who are set to be released should learn what their rights are and how to use them once they’re out.”

In 2019, Peters sponsored the Re-Entering Civics Education Act, which required the Department of Corrections to offer civics education to incarcerated people who were due to re-enter society upon the completion of their prison sentences within the next year. Senate Bill 2116 extends that provision to the Department of Juvenile Justice. The curriculum of the program would be centered around voting rights, government institutions, current affairs, and simulations of the electoral and voting process and will be administered over the course of three 90-minute sessions.

“Many of the kids who are set to be released from DJJ custody will be old enough to vote for the first time, and they deserve to know exactly what their rights are and how they can vote if they choose to do so,” Peters said.

Having passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee unanimously, the measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration.