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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Fourth of July holiday weekend is a time when many celebrate freedom, but on Sunday some politicians and activists were pushing for more freedom for people who have gone to jail or prison.
“We know that people with criminal records tend to live a life as the second-class citizens, and we need to make sure that when people serve their time that they are able to reintegrate in society with their full rights,” said Illinois State Rep. La Shawn Ford, speaking at a rally outside of Cook County Jail.
Ford went on to say that our prison system has failed the community, and that we’re wasting tax payer dollars if people leave jail worse than when they went in.
A report from the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council found that 17% of those imprisoned re-offend within a year of release. That number jumps to 43% after three years.