SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. led a new law to end youth solitary confinement – leading to better outcomes for children who are detained.

“Sadly, across the nation, young people are being held in solitary confinement for unreasonably long periods of time, sometimes spending 22 hours or more alone each day,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “That is inhumane and can cause long-term grave psychological, physical and developmental harm.”

Sims’ measure prohibits the use of solitary confinement on young detainees in detention centers for any purpose other than preventing immediate physical harm.

Young people in solitary confinement are isolated both physically and socially, often for days, weeks, or even months on end. Sometimes there is a window allowing natural light to enter or a view of the world outside cell walls. Sometimes it is possible to communicate by yelling to other inmates, with voices distorted, reverberating against concrete and metal. Occasionally, they get a book or bible, and if they are lucky, study materials. But inside this cramped space, few contours distinguish one hour, one day, week, or one month, from the next.

“For children, who are still developing and more vulnerable to irreparable harm, risks are magnified – particularly those with disabilities or histories of trauma and abuse,” said Sims. “Children should not be deprived of the services, programming, and other tools they need for healthy growth, education, and development. We should be helping children grow into productive and healthy adults, not harming them, this is particularly true when they have come into the criminal legal system. If we are going to have true safety and justice, we must invest in a criminal legal system that creates pathways to success not one that tears down our young people and creates a cycle of recidivism.”

Senate Bill 3140 was signed into law Friday.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court limited how universities may consider race in admissions decisions:

“Equal education rights for all should be a fundamental value of this country. Yet, with the Supreme Court’s decision, America has taken a step backward in our fight to end racial bias and discrimination in education. It’s acceptable for college admissions to consider if your parent graduated from the school or if you can play a sport well – things that often come from money and privilege – but not by where you come from? It is unconscionable that this court continues to disregard efforts to make our country more inclusive while at the same time diminishing the centuries of disinvestment that continue to impede pathways to equal opportunity for all.

“At the state level, I am grateful for the commitment made by the Illinois Board of Higher Education to continue to fight for equity and inclusion. I vow to ensure all students in Illinois – regardless of race or ZIP code – have equal opportunities to higher education.”

Category: Press Releases



CHICAGO – Majority Caucus Appropriations Leader Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the governor signed the Fiscal Year 2024 budget into law: 

“The budget signed today builds upon our strong, smart spending decisions of recent years that have led Illinois to not just one credit upgrade – but eight. 

“I am proud of the steps we took to continue Illinois on the right path. We didn’t just look at fiscal outcomes but prioritized our most vulnerable populations, educating our young people, keeping our communities safe, creating good jobs, and growing our economy. 

“Continuing our principled and disciplined approach will keep our fiscal house in order. I am committed to doing the work necessary to ensure that Illinois continues to enact responsible budgets and remains on the path toward fiscal stability, investing in and uplifting marginalized people, all while prioritizing our communities and people who need the most assistance.” 

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Majority Caucus Appropriations Leader Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 budget:

“In keeping with our commitment to the people of Illinois, we have approved a budget that is balanced, responsible and invests in people in all corners of our state.

“As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I set a goal that our budget would work to solve the pressing economic issues facing low- and middle-income families. Because of our responsible fiscal approach, particularly the last few years, our state continues to have fiscal stability while caring for the people of our state.

"I am particularly proud of our investments in education, business attraction and development, public safety and in efforts to address the social determinants of health. This budget provides our front-line workers and institutions with the resources they need to best serve our communities, while at the same time supporting public safety measures to keep our communities safe. This budget invests in mental health and trauma informed services while also strengthening investments in violence prevention programs.

“It also further continues to set our state on a path of fiscal responsibility and invests in education from preschool to college.

"This budget sets us up for short- and long-term success and I remain committed to economically advancing the state of Illinois."

Category: Press Releases

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Chicago Office:
8233 S. Princeton
Chicago, IL 60620

P. 773.933.7715

Springfield Office:
218 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P. 217.782.3201