Illinois goes fully woke changing the term “criminal offender” to “justice impacted individual”

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Ah, the state of Illinois, a beacon of liberal absurdity and progressive pandering, has once again decided to outdo itself in the grand theater of political correctness. The latest spectacle? A bill that seeks to replace the term “offender” with the laughably euphemistic “justice-impacted individual.” Yes, you read that correctly. It seems our friends in Springfield have found yet another way to prioritize feelings over facts, and sentiment over sensibility.

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State Representative Carol Ammons, a Democrat, naturally, is the proud architect of this linguistic contortion. With a straight face, she asserts that this change in terminology will help individuals reintegrate into society and find alternatives to prison time. Because, apparently, the real issue with our criminal justice system isn’t crime itself, but the hurt feelings of those who commit it.

Let’s pause for a moment to ponder this. We are talking about individuals who have been found guilty of breaking the law. They are not “justice-impacted” in some abstract, cosmic sense; they are criminals who have chosen to engage in illegal activities. Yet, under this new lexicon, we are to view them as mere victims of circumstance, impacted by the capricious whims of an unjust system. The irony, of course, is lost on the likes of Ammons and her ilk, who seem to believe that reality can be reshaped with a few strokes of the pen.

The bill, which has already made its way through the Illinois House and Senate, now sits on Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk, awaiting his inevitable signature. Pritzker, who has never met a progressive cause he didn’t embrace with open arms, will undoubtedly sign this piece of legislative folly into law. And why wouldn’t he? After all, in the eyes of Illinois’ ruling elite, there is no problem so great that it can’t be solved by changing the words we use to describe it.

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But let’s be clear: this is not just a harmless exercise in semantics. This is a deliberate attempt to obscure the reality of criminal behavior and to blur the lines between right and wrong. By softening the language, we are softening our stance on crime itself. We are telling offenders — excuse me, “justice-impacted individuals” — that their actions are not really their fault, that they are merely products of an unfair system. This, in turn, undermines the very foundation of our legal system, which is built on the principles of personal responsibility and accountability.

Furthermore, this kind of linguistic coddling does a grave disservice to the true victims of crime. When we prioritize the feelings of offenders over the suffering of their victims, we are sending a clear message about whose side we are on. And it is not the side of justice. Imagine being the victim of a violent crime, only to hear that the person who assaulted you is now being referred to as a “justice-impacted individual.” It is an insult, a slap in the face to those who have already endured so much.

The proponents of this bill argue that changing the terminology will help former offenders reintegrate into society. This is a noble goal, but it misses the point entirely. The best way to help individuals reintegrate into society is to ensure that they face the consequences of their actions and learn from their mistakes. This requires a justice system that is clear-eyed and unflinching, not one that hides behind euphemisms and platitudes.

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Moreover, this obsession with political correctness is emblematic of a broader trend in liberal thinking: the belief that words are more important than actions, that changing the language can somehow change reality. It is the same mindset that leads to the policing of speech on college campuses and the rewriting of history books to fit contemporary sensibilities. It is a worldview that values virtue signaling over virtue itself.

In the end, this bill is nothing more than a distraction from the real issues facing Illinois. The state has one of the highest crime rates in the country, a deeply troubled economy, and a public pension crisis that threatens to bankrupt it. Yet, instead of addressing these pressing problems, our lawmakers are busy debating the finer points of politically correct terminology.

One can only hope that the voters of Illinois are paying attention, that they see through this charade and demand real solutions to the real problems facing their state. Until then, we can only shake our heads in disbelief as we watch the continued descent of Illinois into the depths of progressive absurdity. The term “offender” may be disappearing from the state’s lexicon, but the offense to common sense remains as glaring as ever.