Chicago & Illinois: A 10-Point Human Rights Agenda

Report
April 1, 2014

Chicago & Illinois: A 10-Point Human Rights Agenda

5. Racial Profiling: The City of Chicago should reform the Chicago Police Department Contact Information System and create an effective database to allow for better oversight and accountability of potential racial profiling by CPD officers during stops of Chicago residents. The Illinois Legislature should introduce and pass legislation that bans the practice of racial profiling in all police interactions, and should pass HB 4222, which will remove the January 1, 2015 sunset provision of its current racial profiling data collection statute.

6. Tasers: The Independent Police Review Authority should fully investigate every incident where a taser is used; the City of Chicago should ensure funding for independent reviews; and the State of Illinois pass legislation suspending the use of tasers until all law enforcement personnel currently equipped with such devices are properly trained and effective oversight mechanisms are established to ensure that arbitrary and abusive use of CEDs is prevented and punished.

7. Solitary Confinement: The Illinois legislature should pass legislation that would eliminate the use of prolonged and indefinite solitary confinement and ensure that it complies with international law and standards, including a complete ban on the use of solitary confinement for children and people with mental disabilities; federal legislators from Illinois should ensure that the Thompson Correctional Center is neither funded nor designated as a "super-max" isolation facility.

8. Juvenile Life without Parole: The Illinois legislature should pass legislation that would prohibit life without parole sentences for juveniles. In furtherance of this, Illinois Legislature should pass S.B. 1858 to bring its sentencing laws in compliance with the Supreme Court decision (Miller v Alabama) on mandatory juvenile life without parole. The State of Illinois should grant sentencing review hearings to all of those juveniles who were sentenced to life without parole.

9. Immigrant rights: State and local officials in Illinois should rescind the contracts of any facility that detains immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement that fails to meet international standards on administrative detention of immigrants and ICE detention standards.

10. LGBTQI rights: The Municipal Code of Chicago (§§2-120-518/8-4-085) should be amended to include gender identity as a motivating bias for a hate crime; Police Departments in Chicago and Illinois should review Amnesty International's recommendations on best practices for policing practices with regards to LGBTQI communities and ensure that their policies and procedures adhere to international law and standards.

Amnesty International recognizes the vibrant human rights community within Chicago and that the state of Illinois – thanks in part to the dedication and leadership of many Chicagoans -- has taken a number of positive steps to advance human rights issues, from marriage equality to abolishing the death penalty. However, more still needs to be done. For further information please go to www.amnestyusa.org.

The time for action – and change – is now.