Measure is first-in-the-nation approach

CHICAGO – Illinois will become the first state to provide people experiencing mental health crises with more appropriate responses thanks to a law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“Our goal as public servants must be to provide treatment, not trauma,” Peters said. “Trained mental health officials responding to mental health emergencies is how we provide that treatment. The alternative is how we risk furthering trauma.”

In July of 2020, the federal government laid the groundwork for 988 to become the new easy-to-remember number to call in the event of a mental health emergency, working similar to 911. Peters’ law would require local governments to coordinate 911 and 988 services, with the goal of diverting people with mental or behavioral health needs toward community care and away from incarceration or improper hospitalization.

“When you call an emergency number for a mental health emergency, you should be able to get a trained mental health response, and starting today, you will,” Peters said.

Some local jurisdictions, such as Eugene, Ore., have implemented similar measures, but House Bill 2784 is the first state-wide measure of its kind in the country. It passed the General Assembly with no opposition, and will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – A new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) expands the rights of victims and survivors of violent crimes to take unpaid time off work.

“Trauma can often be a life-changing experience, so victims and survivors of violent crimes and their families should be able to deal with that trauma on their own time without having to risk losing their jobs,” Peters said. “Otherwise, we’re creating a situation where a person might experience serious trauma and then suffer loss of livelihood as a result.”

Read more: Peters expands victims’ rights

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – Young adults in Department of Juvenile Justice custody will soon be able to receive civics education as they near their release under a new law sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“Generations of people have fought and died to secure our rights, and one of the cornerstones of our society is that someone who is in prison doesn’t lose those rights once they’re released,” Peters said. “Knowing what your rights are and how they can be used can be confusing, especially for kids in DJJ who have likely never exercised them before.”

Read more: Peters extends civics education to Department of Juvenile Justice

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – A form of intimidation sometimes used by law enforcement is no longer permitted in Illinois. State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago), the sponsor of the law banning the practice, believes that the threat of a of background checks deters public participation for important hearings.

“Public safety belongs to the people, which means that the people should be able to share their opinion at public hearings and meetings,” Peters said. “This is especially true of police board meetings. Law enforcement using background checks to intimidate people from participating in the very hearings that will hold them accountable should set off red flags for everyone as something that should not be permitted to happen.”

Read more: Law enforcement intimidation tactics limited under new Peters law

Category: Press Releases

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