(Chicago) – Governor JB Pritzker has established the Justice, Equity and Opportunity (JEO) Initiative that will be housed under and spearheaded by Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton.
by Executive Order 2019-9, the JEO Initiative will centralize the state's criminal justice reform efforts by fostering coordination and collaboration among stakeholders, executive agencies, and organizations from across the state. The initiative will conduct research, pilot programs and advocate for legislation to ensure all branches of government are working proactively to expand fairness and equity.
Announcing the initiative on February 11, Governor Pritzker said, "For Illinois to truly lead on criminal justice reform, we must bring real and lasting economic opportunity to every corner of our state. It's no accident that this initiative puts Justice, Equity and, Opportunity side by side. With decades of experience working to bring reform to our system of justice in Illinois, I can think of no better person to spearhead this initiative than our Lieutenant Governor, Juliana Stratton."
"Criminal justice reform has been a focus throughout my professional career and I thank Governor Pritzker for believing in me to lead this initiative, and I will proudly oversee these much-needed efforts," said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. "This is needed because our justice system is not working. The JEO Initiative will move us from a strictly punitive system to one that examines the root causes of the issues we face while creating solutions that put community at the center."
by Lt. Gov. Stratton, the initiative will have three full-time staff within the
Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
TASC President Pam Rodriguez served on then-Governor-elect Pritzker’s Restorative Justice and Safe Communities Committee, which advised the new administration on criminal justice reform and public safety, and endorsed the creation of the JEO Initiative.
"At TASC, we've had the privilege of working with Juliana for years on initiatives and policies to advance justice," said Rodriguez. "With her leadership as Lieutenant Governor, we are thrilled to see the formation of the JEO and look forward to supporting broad reforms taking shape at the highest level."
needed reforms at the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) will be a top
priority of the initiative. Approximately 43,000 people are imprisoned in the
IDOC prison system, which was built for about 32,000.