Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2444
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Full Text of HB2444  101st General Assembly


Rep. Kelly M. Cassidy

Filed: 3/14/2019





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 2444 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. This Act may be referred to as the Children's
5Best Interest Act.
6    Section 3. Purpose. The purpose of this Act is to:
7    (1) prevent unnecessary harm to children caused by
8separation from parents during pre-trial detention or
9incarceration; and
10    (2) ensure the fair and compassionate treatment of children
11whose parents are involved in the criminal justice system by
12affording certain basic considerations to these children when
13decisions are made that affect them. Sentences that are based
14on evidence-based practices serve families and communities, as
15well as defendants. Parental incarceration is classified as an
16Adverse Childhood Experience. Multiple peer-reviewed studies



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1connect Adverse Childhood Experiences, a set of specific
2traumatic events that occur during childhood, to poor mental
3and physical health outcomes such as chronic diseases, certain
4cancers, sexually transmitted infections, depression, and
5other mental health conditions. Allowing incarcerated mothers
6and babies to co-habitate during the baby's first year of life
7leads to babies having more secure attachments when compared to
8those who have not co-habitated for a full year which improves
9long-term outcomes for both mothers and babies.
10Community-based residential parenting programs and day
11programs where parents can serve their sentences with their
12infants and children in a non-prison setting that offers
13housing and social services serve to enhance parent-child
14bonding and foster healthy child development. Family-based
15drug treatment programs that offer parenting skills training
16and home-based case management services are successful in
17reducing parental drug abuse and improving parenting skills.
18Parenting classes for fathers and mothers improve parent-child
19relationships and attachment, children's self-concept and
20behaviors, and feelings of competence among parents. Among
21parents who participate in residential drug treatment, those
22who have their children with them are far more likely to
23complete the program when compared to those who are separated
24from their children. Children of parents who participate in
25family-based drug treatment are less likely to develop
26substance abuse disorders.



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1    Section 5. The Unified Code of Corrections is amended by
2changing Section 5-5-3.1 as follows:
3    (730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.1)  (from Ch. 38, par. 1005-5-3.1)
4    Sec. 5-5-3.1. Factors in mitigation.
5    (a) The following grounds shall be accorded weight in favor
6of withholding or minimizing a sentence of imprisonment:
7        (1) The defendant's criminal conduct neither caused
8    nor threatened serious physical harm to another.
9        (2) The defendant did not contemplate that his criminal
10    conduct would cause or threaten serious physical harm to
11    another.
12        (3) The defendant acted under a strong provocation.
13        (4) There were substantial grounds tending to excuse or
14    justify the defendant's criminal conduct, though failing
15    to establish a defense.
16        (5) The defendant's criminal conduct was induced or
17    facilitated by someone other than the defendant.
18        (6) The defendant has compensated or will compensate
19    the victim of his criminal conduct for the damage or injury
20    that he sustained.
21        (7) The defendant has no history of prior delinquency
22    or criminal activity or has led a law-abiding life for a
23    substantial period of time before the commission of the
24    present crime.



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1        (8) The defendant's criminal conduct was the result of
2    circumstances unlikely to recur.
3        (9) The character and attitudes of the defendant
4    indicate that he is unlikely to commit another crime.
5        (10) The defendant is particularly likely to comply
6    with the terms of a period of probation.
7        (11) (Blank) The imprisonment of the defendant would
8    entail excessive hardship to his dependents.
9        (12) The imprisonment of the defendant would endanger
10    his or her medical condition.
11        (13) The defendant was a person with an intellectual
12    disability as defined in Section 5-1-13 of this Code.
13        (14) The defendant sought or obtained emergency
14    medical assistance for an overdose and was convicted of a
15    Class 3 felony or higher possession, manufacture, or
16    delivery of a controlled, counterfeit, or look-alike
17    substance or a controlled substance analog under the
18    Illinois Controlled Substances Act or a Class 2 felony or
19    higher possession, manufacture or delivery of
20    methamphetamine under the Methamphetamine Control and
21    Community Protection Act.
22        (15) At the time of the offense, the defendant is or
23    had been the victim of domestic violence and the effects of
24    the domestic violence tended to excuse or justify the
25    defendant's criminal conduct. As used in this paragraph
26    (15), "domestic violence" means abuse as defined in Section



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1    103 of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986.
2        (16) At the time of the offense, the defendant was
3    suffering from a serious mental illness which, though
4    insufficient to establish the defense of insanity,
5    substantially affected his or her ability to understand the
6    nature of his or her acts or to conform his or her conduct
7    to the requirements of the law.
8        (17) At the time of the offense, the defendant was
9    suffering from post-partum depression or post-partum
10    psychosis which was either undiagnosed or untreated, or
11    both, and this temporary mental illness tended to excuse or
12    justify the defendant's criminal conduct and the defendant
13    has been diagnosed as suffering from post-partum
14    depression or post-partum psychosis, or both, by a
15    qualified medical person and the diagnoses or testimony, or
16    both, was not used at trial. In this paragraph (17):
17            "Post-partum depression" means a mood disorder
18        which strikes many women during and after pregnancy
19        which usually occurs during pregnancy and up to 12
20        months after delivery. This depression can include
21        anxiety disorders.
22            "Post-partum psychosis" means an extreme form of
23        post-partum depression which can occur during
24        pregnancy and up to 12 months after delivery. This can
25        include losing touch with reality, distorted thinking,
26        delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations,



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1        paranoia, hyperactivity and rapid speech, or mania.
2        (18) The defendant is the parent of a child or infant
3    whose well-being will be negatively affected by the
4    parent's absence. Circumstances to be considered in
5    assessing this factor in mitigation include:
6            (A) that the parent is breastfeeding the child;
7            (B) the age of the child, with strong consideration
8        given to avoid disruption of the caregiving of an
9        infant, pre-school or school-age child by a parent;
10            (C) the role of the parent in the day-to-day
11        educational and medical needs of the child;
12            (D) the relationship of the parent and the child;
13            (E) any special medical, educational, or
14        psychological needs of the child;
15            (F) the role of the parent in the financial support
16        of the child.
17    Under this Section, the defendant shall have the right to
18present a Family Impact Statement at sentencing, which the
19court shall consider prior to imposing any sentence and may
20include testimony from family and community members, written
21statements, video, and documentation. Unless the court finds
22that the parent poses a significant risk to the community that
23outweighs the risk of harm from the parent's removal from the
24family, the court shall impose a sentence in accordance with
25subsection (b) that allows the parent to continue to care for
26the child or children.



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1        (19) The defendant serves as the caregiver for a
2    relative who is ill, disabled, or elderly.
3    (b) If the court, having due regard for the character of
4the offender, the nature and circumstances of the offense and
5the public interest finds that a sentence of imprisonment is
6the most appropriate disposition of the offender, or where
7other provisions of this Code mandate the imprisonment of the
8offender, the grounds listed in paragraph (a) of this
9subsection shall be considered as factors in mitigation of the
10term imposed.
11(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15; 99-384, eff. 1-1-16;
1299-642, eff. 7-28-16; 99-877, eff. 8-22-16; 100-574, eff.