Chicago

M. Spencer Green/AP

The Illinois Senate approved legislation meant to address record gun violence in Chicago.

It's intended to push judges into imposing longer prison sentences on repeat gun offenders.
It passed on a vote of 35 to 9, but several legislators voted “present” — or didn’t vote at all.

Democrat Jackie Collins of Chicago, says “locking up more people is not the solution to gun violence.”

“What is needed is economic development, police reform, and stopping the flow of illegal guns in communities ravaged by deep concentrations of poverty and hopelessness.”

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

10 school districts across the state are participating in a pilot project with the Illinois Board of Education.

Chicago is participating, along with areas such as Round Lake, Kankakee, and Peoria.  State Superintendent Tony Smith says the pilot initiative could have implications for districts across Illinois

“We think that there’s a lot of folks out there that have been doing work like this for a while and we want to build more of a community of practice for it. And we do think that it will have a big impact on the direction the state goes in understanding this.”

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Dozens of crosses line sidewalks near the MLK Commons. Each is adorned by a red heart, and the victim’s name and age.

A number on each cross represents a murder in Chicago this year.

Greg Zanis, a carpenter from Aurora, says he plans to build a cross for each victim. He takes them to different locations, like Englewood in Chicago.

For NIU students like Matthew Moore, the collection is eye-opening. He says the community needs to work together to stop the line of crosses from growing longer.

"streetlight" by Flickr User David McGregor / (CC X 2.0)

A nonprofit organization says people living in poverty in Illinois are more likely to become violent crime victims than higher wage earners whether they live in cities, suburbs or rural areas. However, geographic disparities persist.

The Heartland Alliance analyzed how poverty and crime overlap for the first time in the nearly two decades it's researched Illinois' poverty data. It released a report Wednesday.

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

Chicago's top law enforcement officer says an Illinois Senate proposal to increase prison sentences for repeat gun offenders would help stanch the city's rampant gun violence.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Thursday told the Criminal Law Committee the legislation would create a ``culture of accountability.'' Chicago recorded 767 homicides last year.

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