Mark Kirk on Crime

Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (IL-10)


Deportation to fight rising street gang population

With a rising street gang population, Congressman Kirk supports giving law enforcement the tools they need to deport illegal residents with gang ties and proposed the Alien Gang Removal Act. The Government Accountability Office has statistics indicating that illegal aliens in prisons have been arrested an average of eight times each. These national statistics on repeat offenders are staggering, and these gangs are backed by weapons and resources that can easily overwhelm suburban law enforcement.

Locally, the legislation would combine with efforts already being taken in Lake County to deport illegals in the criminal system. While most gang members are American citizens, we are seeing the rise of transnational drug gangs that are bringing new levels of violence and criminal activity to our communities. [Source: kirk.house.gov/index.php ]

Source: Vote-IL.org profile for 2016 Illinois Senate race , Nov 22, 2010

Provide after-school basketball to reduce youth violence

When two North Chicago young people were senselessly murdered, Congressman Kirk reached out to community leaders who identified a lack of after school activities as a factor in growing youth violence. To help address that problem, Congressman Kirk contacted the Chicago Bulls organization to join forces and build a world-class basketball facility in North Chicago to serve nearly 4,000 community kids. During the recent ceremony officially opening the new basketball courts, Congressman Kirk told the crowd that the Bulls built this project so fast that they had an immediate impact on stopping the cycle of violence. [Source: Candidate Website ]
Source: Vote-IL.org profile for 2016 Illinois Senate race , Oct 4, 2008

Mandatory sentences for gun crimes

We should bolster the enforcement of current gun laws and impose mandatory sentences on criminals who commit crimes with guns.
Source: www.kirkforcongress.com , Sep 9, 2000

Voted YES on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes.

Congressional Summary:Adopts the definition of "hate crime" as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person. Provides technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of hate crimes, including financial grant awards.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN CONYERS (D, MI-14):This bill expands existing Federal hate crimes law to groups who are well-known targets for bias-based violence--they are sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability. These crimes of violence are directed not just at those who are directly attacked; they are targeting the entire group with the threat of violence.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LAMAR SMITH (R, TX-21): Every year thousands of violent crimes are committed out of hate, but just as many violent crimes, if not more, are motivated by something other than hate--greed, jealousy, desperation or revenge, just to name a few. An individual's motivation for committing a violent crime is usually complex and often speculative. Every violent crime is deplorable, regardless of its motivation. That's why all violent crimes should be vigorously prosecuted. Unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system--equal justice for all. Under this bill, justice will no longer be equal. Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim. It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime. This is the real injustice.

Reference: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act; Bill HR.1913 ; vote number 2009-H223 on Apr 2, 2009

Voted YES on expanding services for offenders' re-entry into society.

H.R.1593: Second Chance Act of 2007: Community Safety Through Recidivism Prevention or the Second Chance Act (Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass). To reauthorize the grant program for reentry of offenders into the community in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and to improve reentry planning and implementation.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. CONYERS: Some 650,000 men and women are leaving the Federal and State prisons each year. While the vast majority of the prisoners are committed to abiding by the law and becoming productive members of society, they often encounter the same pressures & temptations that they faced before prison. More than two-thirds of them are arrested for new crimes within 3 years of their release. This exacts a terrible cost in financial terms as well as in human terms. The Second Chance Act will help provide these men and women with the training, counseling and other support needed to help them obtain & hold steady jobs; to kick their drug and alcohol habits; rebuild their families; and deal with the many other challenges that they face in their efforts to successfully rejoin society.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. GOHMERT: The programs that are sought to be renewed are ones we don't have information on how successful they were. I can tell you from my days as a judge, there was some anecdotal evidence that it looked like faith-based programs did a better job of dramatically reducing recidivism. In addition:

Reference: Second Chance Act; Bill HR1593 ; vote number 2007-1083 on Nov 13, 2007

More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes.

Kirk co-sponsored the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act:

Title: To provide Federal assistance to States and local jurisdictions to prosecute hate crimes.

Summary: Provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any violent crime that is motivated by prejudice based on the race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability of the victim or is a violation of hate crime laws.

  1. Award grants to assist State and local law enforcement officials with extraordinary expenses for interstate hate crimes.

  2. Award grants to State and local programs designed to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles.

  3. Prohibit specified offenses involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

  4. Increase criminal sentencing for adult recruitment of juveniles to commit hate crimes.

  5. Collect and publish data about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on gender.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR1343 on Apr 3, 2001

Supports more severe penalties for Hate Crimes.

Kirk supports the CC survey question on "Hate Crimes"

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Hate Crimes legislation that designates crimes as more severe due to the perpetrator's thoughts and motivations"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q9 on Aug 11, 2010

Rated 45% by the NAPO, indicating a police-the-police stance.

Kirk scores 45% by the NAPO on crime & police issues

Ratings by the National Association of Police Organizations indicate support or opposition to issues of importance to police and crime. The organization's self-description: "The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) is a coalition of police units and associations from across the United States. NAPO was organized for the purpose of advancing the interests of America's law enforcement officers through legislative advocacy, political action, and education.

"Increasingly, the rights and interests of law enforcement officers have been the subject of legislative, executive, and judicial action in the nationís capital. NAPO works to influence the course of national affairs where law enforcement interests are concerned. The following list includes examples of NAPOís accomplishments:

VoteMatch scoring for the NAPO ratings is as follows:

Source: NAPO ratings on Congress and politicians 2014_NAPO on Dec 31, 2014

Other candidates on Crime: Mark Kirk on other issues:
IL Gubernatorial:
Bruce Rauner
Pat Quinn
IL Senatorial:
Doug Truax
Jim Oberweis
Richard Durbin
Sharon Hansen

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Page last updated: Oct 03, 2016