Sen. Chuck Weaver bill to help prisoners find jobs signed into law

Chris Kaergard
Chuck Weaver

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday signed legislation sponsored by state Sen. Chuck Weaver to let prison inmates begin their job searches while still behind bars.

The measure, Senate Bill 156, requires the state Department of Corrections and the Department of Innovation and Technology to create a system to let prisoners access job-search and career-building websites from their prison facilities.

Weaver, R-Peoria, crafted the legislation after getting requests from Peoria's prison re-entry facility Downtown and from the life-skills re-entry center in Kewanee.

Most jobs are posted online now, with most applications also taken primarily in digital form. Weaver has said that making sure inmates have jobs is a key to avoiding recidivism.

The bill passed both chambers of the Legislature unanimously; it takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.