What to do here
Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!
Last updated Jan. 20, 2020
No knock warrants
Illinois has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. Legislators in the Legislative Black Caucus planned to introduce legislation in the fall of 2020 that would eliminate no knock warrants, but the session was postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
Illinois has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.
Military style training
Illinois has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage. However, Blue Courage is woven into the Chicago Police Department's training curriculum.
Illinois has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.
Civil asset forfeiture
Illinois has not yet enacted a law ending civil asset forfeiture. However, Gov. JB Pritzker (D) signed an executive order in 2019 to create an initiative designed to increase trust between communities and law enforcement. This includes reducing civil asset forfeiture.
Police arrest quotas are illegal in the State of Illinois. After passing through the Illinois General Assembly with unanimous support, then-Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 3509 on Aug. 20, 2018, eliminating an exemption in the state’s ticket quota ban that allowed Chicago to continue the practice.
Cost of misconduct
Illinois has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.
HB1438 legalized marijuana for recreational use and sale for adults in 2019. Other minor offenses remain criminalized.
Objective justification for stops
Illinois has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description).
Reporting stop details
House Bill 1613 (2019) extended a previous program that requires police to record the race of the driver, as well as other data, at traffic stops in an effort to prevent racial profiling.
Reckless civil rights violation
Illinois has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.
Illinois has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct.
Pending Legislation: State Representative Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) has introduced HB 3926. This bill requires the appointment of a special prosecutor for incidents of police misconduct.
Illinois has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.
Mental health response
Illinois has not yet enacted a law creating and funding a mental health task force available to respond to crisis calls (in lieu of police). But, a pilot program has been started in Rockford, IL wherein the fire department would transport patients to community center instead of the emergency room.
Pending Legislation: SB 3449 would create a dedicated mental health response service when 911 is called.
Education, Housing, Community Health Resources
It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.
No matter what, register to vote:
Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle— we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:
To keep these policies at the forefront:
Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).
To ask for more than this:
Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.
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