Anthony appointed to state reform panels

SPRINGFIELD – Rep. John Anthony, R-Plainfield, will be utilizing his knowledge as a former sheriff’s deputy in his new appointment to two panels dealing with criminal justice reform and illegal gun trafficking.

Anthony has been appointed by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, to serve on the panels, according to a news release.

The Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee, comprised of five members from the House and five from the Senate, will examine the impact of the current sentencing structure, ensure enforcement and punishment of crimes does not disproportionately or unfairly affect certain racial, ethnic or minority groups; and develop solutions to address issues that exist within the system. The committee is required to submit a report to the General Assembly by Dec. 1.

The other three House members on the committee, appointed by House Speaker Michael Madigan, include Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago; Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago; and Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside. Former prosecutor Rep. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst, is the other Republican appointed. The committee was established May 30.

Anthony also has been appointed to serve on the Illegal Gun Trafficking Task Force, formed in response to the crisis of illegal guns and gun violence, particularly in Chicago. Between 2001 and 2012, the Chicago Police Department recovered more than 50,000 illegal guns, according to the release.

House Resolution 1188 declares an Illegal Gun Trafficking State of Emergency and creates the task force to develop a plan to disrupt the flow of illegal guns.

Specifically, the task force will assess the necessary levels of coordination, funding and interdepartmental and state/federal cooperation for gun trafficking interdiction; the legal framework necessary for getting guns off the streets; and the feasibility of Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and Department of Justice anti-violence programs that have worked in other similarly situated areas, including after-school programs and job readiness, that are peer-reviewed and cost-effective.

“Families in every corner of Illinois should be free from the threat of illegal guns,” Anthony said in the release. “Having grown up in a poverty and violence-plagued neighborhood in the city of Chicago, I understand what it means to live among families devastated by gun violence. We are going to work hard together with our law enforcement community to crack down on illegal guns; and offer at-risk youth greater access to after-school programs and job training skills to provide them a path to achieve a bright, stable future.”