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Amid political darkness, a bright spot for criminal justice reform in Illinois

Austin BergIllinois Policy Institute

Sep 27, 2016

Pete Leonard has employed 35 ex-offenders since 2009 at Second Chance Coffee Company in Wheaton. (Photo provided by Kate Miller Photography)

Not much is going right in Illinois.

It’s home to the worst population loss in the Midwest, the worst employment recovery in the Midwest, the worst manufacturing climate in the Midwest, the worst credit rating in the nation and the highest property taxes to boot.

It’s not pretty. And solutions to those problems can appear distant.

But in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, a success story is emerging. And it’s emblematic of one bright spot in the state’s dark political climate: criminal…

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