Illinois Institutional Vandalism

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/21-1.2

A person commits Institutional Vandalism when, by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals, regardless of the existence of any other motivating factor or factors, he or she knowingly and without consent inflicts damage to any of the following properties:

  1. A church, synagogue or other building, structure or place used for religious worship or other religious purpose;
  2. A cemetery, mortuary, or other facility used for the purpose of burial or memorializing the dead;
  3. A school, educational facility or community center;
  4. The grounds adjacent to, and owned or rented by, any institution, facility, building, structure or place described in (1), (2) or (3) above; or
  5. Any personal property contained in any institution, facility, building, structure or place described in (1), (2) or (3) above.

Institutional Vandalism is the law aimed at hate crimes directed towards the property of those who are singled out based on religion, race, color, creed, origin, sexual orientation or disability. In addition to protecting the actual buildings and property of the above classes, the law also protects the grounds next to the property, so long as it is owned or rented by any facility related to the above classes. Under the law, anyone convicted of Institutional Vandalism faces a minimum fine of up to $1,000 and 200 hours of community service. Along with criminal penalties, the law allows a civil action to be brought by any person suffering damage to their property as a result of a violation of this law. The law allows the person to recover not only actual damages, but damages for emotional distress, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. Furthermore, a civil judgment against a minor for a violation of Intuitional Vandalism is binding on the parents or legal guardians of the minor.

The Sentence

CLASS 3 FELONY IF:

  1. Damage does not exceed $500.

  • 2 to 5 years in state prison
  • Fine of up to $25,000

Probation Possible? – Yes.

Supervision Possible? – No.

CLASS 2 FELONY IF:

  1. Damage exceeds $500

  2. OR

  3. Second or subsequent violation.

  • 3 to 7 years in state prison
  • Fine of up to $25,000

Probation Possible? – No.

Supervision Possible? – No.

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