toro committeeSPRINGFIELD — To incentivize law enforcement agency task forces to participate in crime reduction programs, State Senator Natalie Toro has introduced legislation that would give participants $10 million in grant funding, an increase of $8 million from previous funding levels.  

“Addressing and solving the root causes of crime is the most important strategy for long-lasting violence and crime prevention,” said Toro (D-Chicago). “Many community-led organizations have done amazing work by implementing crime reduction programs. Law enforcement also adopting these programs will only lead to more positive change.”

Since taking office, Toro has prioritized addressing violence and crime with a restorative justice framework. She hosts a roundtable on violence prevention where members of the community can voice their ideas and concerns about this issue in her district, and has met with many local organizations working to address the root causes of violence and crime. This legislation will encapsulate one of many takeaways from conversations with constituents and advocates—the importance of implementing a restorative, not punitive, approach to crime and violence in communities.

In the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, the state allocated $2 million in grants to law enforcement agency task forces who participate in crime reduction programs, or programs focused on addressing the underlying factors that lead to crime. To increase this investment, Senate Bill 2619 would offer $10 million in grant funding for participation.

“My hope is that this investment encourages law enforcement to prioritize restorative justice practices both here and in all areas of their work so that our criminal legal system continues its transformation into a system that truly prioritizes rehabilitation and justice over punishment,” said Toro.

Senate Bill 2619 awaits discussion in the spring legislative session.