Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel is pushing for a new bill in Illinois that would increase the mandatory minimum jail term for illegal gun possession from one to three years. Chicago already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, with the highest crime rates as well. Emanuel called for the legislation in light of a shooting last month that claimed the life of 13 people.
The new law would take away a judge’s discretion in incarcerating people and force them to put people away according to legislation, instead of according to justice. It would also demand that an offender serve at least 85% of their sentence and would reportedly overload Chicago’s already full prison system. Some estimates have found that it would increase the number of prisoners by more than 6,000 at a cost of $131 million a year.
Some people aren’t planning on letting it go without a fight.
The John Howard Association said the bill would “radically change current law, which allows judges to use their discretion”. They are also trying to advocate for alternatives to prison, such as the Cook County Jail’s boot camp.