Illinois governor announces justice reform initiative

Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued an executive order creating a new office that will address what he says is a broken justice system.

The Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative announced Monday will be headed by Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and is expected to look at criminal sentencing, education, poverty and the link among the three.

Stratton said the JEO Initiative will move Illinois justice from a punitive system to one that examines the root causes of the issues the state faces.

Pritzker noted the state spends roughly $1.3 billion a year for the Department of Corrections, which houses about 43,000 inmates in a system made for about 32,000.

Stratton said part of the initiative will focus on the legalization of marijuana. She says the initiative will examine how to repair the harm the effort to combat illegal drug has had on communities of color.