Illinois Democrats Push to Rename ‘Offenders’ as ‘Justice-Impacted Individuals’


Illinois Democrats are advocating for a bill that would alter the terminology used to describe criminals in state laws and codes, proposing to replace the word “offender” with the term “justice-impacted individual.”

Democrats had to defend their revision of the terminology.

“This is good public safety policy. I know we’re getting hung up on a term, but I don’t want to lose sight that we are adding the department of corrections to this bill,” Peters stated, according to WGN-TV.

Chicago Democrat Rep. Kelly Cassidy noted that the change in language aims to assist criminals in reintegrating into society.

“Labeling someone as an offender for life does not seem appropriate for a system that aims to return people to full societal participation,” Cassidy remarked.

“Repeatedly, we keep altering the terminology used for those engaged in criminal activity, and each modification requires agencies to update every document,” said Republican State Sen. Terri Bryan. “Currently, in the Department of Corrections, multiple changes have been made, costing thousands of dollars. Why is this name change necessary?”

Republican State Sen. Steve McClure argued that the bill diminishes “accountability” for criminals and does a disservice to crime victims.

“There seems to be a rush to remove all accountability from those who commit crimes. If someone is to reform, they must acknowledge their wrongdoing. This tendency to apologize for criminals, who choose to commit crimes to the detriment of victims, is absolutely astonishing,” McClure said, according to the Washington Examiner.

Sen. Peters, however, rejected the claim that Democrats are trivializing the pain of victims, emphasizing that they are simply trying to view criminals as “individuals” and will not alter anything related to the term “victim.”

With Democrats having held complete control in Illinois since 2003 and currently possessing a super majority and all state-wide offices, the bill passed easily and is now awaiting left-wing Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature.

Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN and several local Chicago news programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Warner works out of the Chicago area.

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