A group of juvenile justice reform advocates praise the advancement of several bills that would reform juvenile life sentences without parole. The two bills, House Bills 2470 and 2471, made it out of the Restorative Justice Committee earlier this week.
During a news conference applauding the movement of the bills, ex-offender turned reform advocate Xavier McElrath-Bey said his time in prison changed him both physically and mentally:
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McElrath-Bey says despite his conviction of being involved in a homicide and other crimes, he was able to turn his life around. Other advocates contend the measures are key issues to assist in Governor Bruce Rauner’s efforts to decrease the state’s prison population by twenty-five percent.