gavelSPRINGFIELD – In response to the Illinois Supreme Court decision in The People of the State of Illinois v. Kelan W., State Senator Robert Peters’ new law changing the definition of a delinquent minor takes effect on Jan. 1.

“Illinois has worked hard to become a leader in clear and equitable measures to protect vulnerable communities, especially our youth,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “I am proud to help build on that reputation with this law by preventing an overreach of an outside state and put a stop to undue prosecution of minors in Illinois.”

Signed by Governor JB Pritzker on June 9, 2023, Peters lead the passage of House Bill 2223 through the Senate. This new law prevents a minor from being subject to Illinois court proceedings for behavior deemed unlawful by another state’s laws despite the action being legal in Illinois.

In The People of the State of Illinois v. Kelan W., a 16-year-old boy stole a vehicle in Missouri and used it to drive to Illinois, where Kelan resides. The Illinois court system petitioned to charge Kelan as a delinquent minor based on the carjacking taking place in Missouri and under Illinois laws against unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle. The Illinois Supreme Court allowed Kelan to be tried for violating both states’ laws.

Under Peters’ law, a minor will only be subject to Illinois delinquency proceedings for violations of Illinois law committed in Illinois.

“We must remain proactive in reforming policies that threaten Illinois’ ability to handle our own court proceedings,” said Peters. “Implementing clear and equitable measures helps prevent our most vulnerable youth from the possibility of being disproportionately impacted by the justice system.”

House Bill 2223 takes effect Jan. 1.