Synopsis As Introduced Creates the Re-Entering Citizens Civics Education Act. Provides that the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice shall provide a nonpartisan peer-led civics program throughout the correctional institutions of the State to teach civics to soon-to-be released citizens who will be re-entering society. Provides for the curriculum and eligibility for the program. Provides that the program shall be taught by peer educators who are citizens incarcerated in the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice facilities and specially trained by experienced peer educators and established nonpartisan civic organizations. Provides that the nonpartisan civic organizations shall provide adequate training to peer educators on matters including, but not limited to, voting rights, governmental institutions, current affairs, and simulations of voter registration, election, and democratic processes, and shall provide periodic updates to program content and to peer educators. Provides that the Department of Corrections shall adopt rules to carry out the Act within 6 months after the effective date of the Act. Provides that the funding for the voting rights and registration peer education program shall be subject to appropriation by the General Assembly. Contains provisions regarding funding for the program. Effective January 1, 2020.
Senate Floor Amendment No. 2 Provides that the civic education program must be offered by the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice to prisoners scheduled to be discharged within 12 months (rather than 6 months). Provides that established nonpartisan civic organizations may be assisted by area political science or civics educators at colleges, universities, and high schools and by nonpartisan organizations providing re-entry services. Provides that the Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice should aim to include the peer reeducation workshop in conjunction with other pre-release procedures and movements. Adds references to "or superintendents" wherever "wardens" appear in the engrossed bill.