State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago. | AP
The Illinois House passed a bill Thursday that would mean police could no longer arrest parolees just for having contact with a gang member.
By a 67-to-48 bipartisan vote, the House moved to change the law so parolees would need to be involved in gang-related activity to face arrest. The measure now goes to the Senate.
“What we were trying to do was to take away the most egregious component of the law — people who weren’t doing anything other than being in their neighborhood — and get at the core issue, which was criminal behavior,” said state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat who is chief sponsor of the bill.
The police say the law has allowed them to ensure that felons are following the terms of their release from prison. But Cassidy and others say the law unfairly targets parolees trying to get back on their feet.
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