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New Article Highlights shortcomings of the Joe Coleman Act


On August 30, 2023, published an excellent article entitled:

The article shows the limitations of the Joe Coleman Act in addressing the problem of keeping older people in prison when they are not a danger to public safety and are very expensive to care for medically. As shown in the article, the release process under the Joe Coleman Act is very limited in who it applies to, because it only applies to persons who are medically incapacitated or terminally ill, and based on the decisions rendered since the Act went into effect in 2022, relatively few people are being released under this Act.

The Elder Parole Bill, HB 2045, would overcome many of the limitations of the Joe Coleman Act by providing a parole process for those who are 55 years or older and have served 25 or more years in prison, regardless of their health or medical status. This bill is targeted to apply to those who are the least likely to re-offend due to aging out of crime, and the most expensive to house in prison due to the need to provide medical care for the diseases of old age and for end-of-life care. These individuals could be released before they reach the stage of medical incapacitation or terminal illness that is covered by the Joe Coleman Act, and when they are still able to contribute to society.

The same article is also on the websites of WBEZ Radio and the Chicago Sun-Times:

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