State of Illinois
2019 and 2020


Introduced 2/14/2020___________, by


New Act

    Creates the Criminal History in College Applications Act. Prohibits a college from inquiring about or considering an applicant's criminal history information until after a provisional offer of admission has been made. Sets forth provisions concerning multi-institution applications, criminal history inquiries after a provisional offer of admission, an appeals process, and the provision of information about education, licensing, and employment barriers for people with criminal records.

LRB101 20365 CMG 69911 b






SB3517LRB101 20365 CMG 69911 b

1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Criminal History in College Applications Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. In this Act:
7    "Applicant" means an individual who is seeking admission to
8a college.
9    "College" means any public or private institution of higher
10education authorized to confer degrees by the Board of Higher
11Education, including a college or university, professional
12school, or technical school.
13    "Conviction" means, with respect to a criminal offense, a
14judgment of conviction or sentence entered upon a plea of
15guilty or upon a verdict or finding of guilt, rendered by a
16legally constituted jury or by a court in a case without a
17jury. For purposes of this Act, (i) an order of supervision or
18qualified probation, as defined in Section 5.2 of the Criminal
19Identification Act, that has been discharged or dismissed, or
20(ii) a juvenile adjudication shall not be deemed a conviction.
21    "Criminal history information" means any record regarding
22an applicant's criminal history but does not include arrests,
23detentions, criminal charges, or indictments that did not



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1result in a conviction.
2    "Provisional offer of admission" means the decision of a
3college to admit an applicant based upon academic performance,
4essays, a list of activities, achievements, honors, and other
5published criteria but without consideration of criminal
6history information or other conduct matters.
7    Section 10. Criminal history inquiries prior to
8provisional offer of admission prohibited. A college may not
9inquire about or consider an applicant's criminal history
10information until after a provisional offer of admission has
11been made to the applicant.
12    Section 15. Multi-institution applications.
13    (a) Notwithstanding Section 10 of this Act, a college may
14use an application for admission that inquires about an
15applicant's criminal history if (i) that application is
16administered by a third-party vendor and (ii) the application
17allows applicants to apply for admission at multiple
18institutions simultaneously.
19    (b) A college that elects to use a multi-institution
20application as described in subsection (a) may not consider any
21criminal history information provided on the multi-institution
22application until after a provisional offer of admission has
23been made to the applicant.
24    (c) A college that elects to use a multi-institution



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1application as described in subsection (a) shall publish a
2statement that must be prominently displayed on all of the
3college's admission materials and its admission website, that
4informs applicants that they are not required to answer a
5criminal history inquiry prior to issuance of a provisional
6offer of admission by the college.
7    (d) A college that uses a multi-institution application as
8described in subsection (a) may not add additional or optional
9questions to the multi-institution application that ask about
10criminal history information.
11    Section 20. Criminal history inquiries after provisional
12offer of admission.
13    (a) After a college has made and communicated its
14provisional offer of admission, it may inquire about or
15consider an applicant's prior convictions or any criminal
16charges that are pending at the time of the inquiry. A college
17may withdraw, rescind, or amend its provisional offer of
18admission upon a finding that the applicant's prior convictions
19demonstrate that admission of the applicant will have a
20detrimental impact on campus safety or security, as provided in
21subsection (d), but a college may not automatically or
22unreasonably deny an applicant's admission or restrict access
23to the campus, educational activities, or campus life.
24    (b) At no time may a college consider criminal history
25information that has been sealed, expunged, or impounded under



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1applicable laws, nor may it consider information unrelated to a
2conviction, including, but not limited to, arrest, complaint,
3or indictment information that did not result in a conviction.
4    (c) A college that chooses to make an inquiry about or
5considers an applicant's prior convictions shall (i) inform
6applicants that individuals with a prior conviction are
7presumed to be eligible for admission and (ii) provide
8applicants with an opportunity to provide information about the
9conviction, including any mitigating circumstances or
10clarifying information.
11    (d) An applicant with a prior conviction or convictions
12shall be presumed to be eligible for admission.
13    In determining whether an applicant's prior conviction
14demonstrates that admission of the applicant will have a
15detrimental impact on campus safety or security, a college must
16articulate the specific reasons or circumstances surrounding
17the applicant's prior convictions that demonstrate that the
18applicant may be a threat to campus safety or security.
19Categorical denials based on the type of conviction is not
20sufficient to rescind, withdraw, or amend a provisional offer.
21    If the college determines that admission of an applicant
22may have a detrimental impact on campus safety or security, it
23may not rescind or withdraw a provisional offer of admission if
24there are less restrictive measures that the college may
25reasonably take to mitigate the perceived risks of admitting
26the applicant. Any such measure shall limit the applicant's



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1participation in education or campus life only to the degree
2necessary to address the specific risks that the college has
3determined that the admission of the applicant poses.
4    Section 25. Appeals.
5    (a) A college must establish an expedited appeals process
6under this Act.
7    (b) An applicant who is denied admission due to the
8applicant's prior conviction or an applicant for whom the
9college has limited his or her participation in education or
10campus life must be notified of the opportunity to appeal the
12    (c) An appeals process must allow for the applicant to
13present additional information, including mitigating
14circumstances or other information, to show that the applicant
15is not a threat to campus safety or security, including an
16opportunity for an in-person interview.
17    (d) A college must inform the applicant of the result of
18the appeal in writing and must articulate the reason for its
19decision to rescind, withdraw, or amend its provisional offer
20of admission or its decision to admit the applicant.
21    Section 30. Information about education, licensing, or
22employment barriers for people with criminal records. A college
23may include information on its admission website that informs
24prospective applicants that a criminal record may affect an



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1individual's ability to obtain certain professional or
2occupational licenses or types of employment or to participate
3in vertical clinical or other education requirements. A college
4may provide a contact for applicants or prospective applicants
5to ask questions and seek advice about any restrictions they
6may face due to a criminal record. Any information provided by
7the applicant to the contact may not be shared with admissions