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Following his first year in office, I posted an article about Governor Bruce Rauner’s record of granting clemency. Since then, little has changed. Governor Rauner granted the same percentage of petitions in 2016 as he did in 2015: a mere 3.6%. In 2016, Governor Rauner granted 42 petitions, while denying 1,110. The governor’s clemency approval […]

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IL Lawmakers Seek to Remove Job, Licensing Barriers for Those with a Criminal Record During the most recent legislative session, the Illinois General Assembly considered several bills that would improve employment and licensing opportunities for people who have a criminal record or, in one case, keep someone from getting a criminal record. At the conclusion […]

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Do Convicted Felons Have Voting Rights? That Depends Where You Live Recently, at a forum I gave on the impact of having a criminal background, I was asked if convicted felons have voting rights in Illinois. I gave an answer that I later learned was only partially correct. States Decide When Convicted Felons have Voting […]

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How to Obtain a F.O.I.D. Card in Illinois if a Convicted Felon In 2013, when Illinois became the last state to issue concealed carry permits, there was an increase in the number of people interested in applying for a F.O.I.D. card, a prerequisite to qualifying for a concealed carry permit. Some people soon discovered that […]

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Clemency Rate Drops to 3.6% Under Governor Rauner Last year, after Governor Rauner ruled on his second batch of clemency petitions, in a June 2015 blog post, I wrote that there were few clues to explain why 7 people were granted clemency and 57 were denied clemency. Since that posting, Governor Rauner went on to […]

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If You Lie About Your Criminal Record Don’t Expect to Get Hired I am always surprised to meet someone who still believes s/he is better off lying about their criminal record when applying for a job. With employer background checks a routine fact of life, the truth about your background comes out. In 2009, a […]

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Cook County’s Bond Processing Fees Will Be Capped in 2016 Beginning in 2016, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County (“Court Clerk”) will no longer be able to charge a 10% bond processing fee on a cash bond, regardless of the amount. Currently, Illinois permits Court Clerks throughout the state to charge a […]

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Cook County Adds Objective Criteria to Making Bond Decisions Whether a defendant is released on a cash bond, on his or her own recognizance (“I bond”), or not at all, is the first crucial decision a judge makes after someone is arrested. Despite the importance of this decision, in most U.S. courtrooms this ruling has […]

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Governor Rauner Eases Rules to Seal Beginning in 2016, the rules to seal a criminal record will be eased. Of the six bills I’ve been tracking, Governor Rauner signed three bills into law earlier this month, sent two bills back for revisions, and one bill remains stalled in the House. New Legislation The legislation set […]

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 Canada Routinely Denies Entry to Vacationers Convicted of Crimes Large and Small Every year unsuspecting U.S. visitors are turned away at Canada’s border based on criminal inadmissibility — having a criminal record. Whether your criminal record will bar you from Canada depends on if the Canadian equivalent of the crime you committed is an indictable […]