Legislation Update: Education Grants for Exonerees

Dagny Broome (Left), exoneree James Kluppelberg (Center), Ashley Stead (Right)

Dagny Broome (Left), exoneree James Kluppelberg (Center), Ashley Stead (Right); discussing possible legislation changes

By: Dagny Broome

Life After Innocence (LAI) continues its work on legislation. The passage of Senate Bill 223 was a huge win for the clinic, as it ensures that all Illinois exonerees are entitled to free higher education in state-run school. The bill also allows those same individuals to obtain a GED with state funding. This bill will ease the transition that exonerees face when re-entering society, sometimes after spending decades in prison.

The funding of the bill is under review along with hundreds of other programs that await the passage of the appropriations bill currently pending in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Once funding is decided, LAI will be working with the social work program at the University of Chicago. Together, LAI and University of Chicago will work to implement both the education bill and another bill passed by LAI in 2011 that provides free mental health care to exonerees.

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