About this Website
ElderParole.org aims to reduce the incarceration of older persons in Illinois by educating the public on, and advocating for, pending legislation that would provide a parole process for older individuals to apply for early release. Many people are not aware that Illinois abolished discretionary parole in 1978, so that persons sentenced since then have no ability to apply for parole to shorten their sentences. Elder Parole legislation would re-establish the right to parole for older persons, who statistically are less likely than younger people to commit additional crimes. Parole could then be granted to those older persons who could show that they have been rehabilitated and do not pose a threat to public safety. Enactment of this legislation would accomplish the following:
Provide the State of Illinois with the opportunity to save millions of dollars each year by releasing individuals from prison who no longer need to be incarcerated.
Permit older able bodied individuals to have a chance to lead productive lives outside of prison and contribute to their families and society.
Permit older individuals with health problems to obtain more effective and less costly treatment in community settings.
Give hope and incentive to incarcerated individuals that, if they rehabilitate themselves, they will have a chance to be released from prison and re-enter society.
The publisher of this website is Bill Nissen who practiced commercial law in Chicago, Illinois for over 40 years. As a law student in the 1970s, he worked for the legal department of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, where he helped end medical experimentation on Massachusetts prisoners, and helped establish a law library for prisoners. While practicing law in Chicago, he engaged in pro bono representations of incarcerated individuals, including those sentenced to death, and in public policy advocacy aimed at stopping executions in Illinois and improving the criminal justice system. The postings on this website will discuss the need for better processes to provide for the early release of individuals incarcerated in Illinois who can show that they no longer need to be incarcerated.