collins sex workers 083021CHICAGO – Felony prostitution charges, which have not existed in Illinois since 2013, will be expunged under a new law signed today, the result of legislation by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago).

“The fact we have stopped charging prostitution as a felony means nothing to those whose records continue to be hurt by these charges,” said Collins (D-Chicago). “I want to thank Gov. Pritzker for signing this legislation and moving us beyond a dynamic that only serves to harm sex workers and perpetuate a dangerous, exploitative environment for them.”

While prostitution has not been prosecuted as a felony in Illinois since 2013, those with such convictions are still subject to all the penalties that come with a felony record. Included in the law is another provision that also allows defendants whose convictions may cause consequences under federal immigration law to file for a post-conviction hearing.

“Our justice system must operate on the premise that a defendant is well-informed of their rights and the consequences of their choices. There have been numerous cases in which those who plead guilty are unaware of how it may affect their immigration status, and are not well-informed by their defenders,” Collins said. “This is a step toward rectifying that.”