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Loughran Cappel’s bill would grant children consideration when mothers are sentenced to prison

The Illinois Senate approved the Shorewood Democrat’s bill last week

meg loughran cappel

The Illinois Senate passed Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel’s legislation to allow for children to be considered when a prison sentence length is determined for an expectant or current mother.

Loughran Cappel, D-Shorewood, said in a news release her measure aims to discourage further disruption of families caused by a parent’s incarceration.

“The absence of a mother can have devastating effects on the development of young children,” Loughran Cappel said in the release. “Stunting their growth because of the poor decisions of a parent is irresponsible.”

The state senator’s measure would create a weighing factor for courts to consider when determining the incarceration of pregnant women or women with young children in their care.

The proposal was a result of discussion between the Senate Women’s Caucus and Illinois First Lady MK Pritzker, according to the release. Both sides seek to pass the bill addressing the effects incarceration has on families.

“Prioritizing the needs of our kids when deciding the outcome of trials is common sense,” Loughran Cappel said in the release. “I am thankful to my colleagues for their support on this initiative.”

The bill will move to the House for consideration.