Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies

The Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies, a unit of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield, develops and applies practical knowledge to improve public sector performance.


Through public policy research and development, program evaluation and design, and the education and training of government and nonprofit employees and citizens, the Institute seeks to bring new information to bear on public problems. Institute projects include those independently undertaken and those funded on a grant or contract basis through public and private sector support.

Through its faculty, staff, and outside consultants, the Institute offers skills in social science research, policy analysis, evaluation, curriculum design and implementation, conference planning and execution, advocacy development, and authoring publications.

Units of ILLAPS include:

The Survey Research Office (SRO)

The Child Protection Training Academy (CPTA)

The Illinois Legislative Staff Internship Program (ILSIP)

The Project for Public Safety and Justice (PPSJ)

The Illinois Traffic Safety Resource Program (TSRP)

Substance User Prevention and Recovery Program (SUPR) DUI Trainings

Recent Research

ILLAPS Visiting Researcher Manuel Gutierrez recently co-authored an academic article published in American Politics Research. “The Impact of Emotional Responses to Public Service Announcements: The Case of Gun Violence in Schools” was co-authored alongside Dr. Kim Fridkin, Dr. Patrick Kenney, and Ryan Deutsch. The abstract for the article is below, as is a link to read it.

Abstract: We examine how people’s emotional reactions to gun violence public service announcements (PSAs) influence information acquisition, policy preferences, and political engagement. Utilizing a non-student sample of more than 100 participants, we look at people’s emotional reactions (i.e., anger, sadness, contempt, and fear) to two Sandy Hook Promise PSAs. We assess people’s emotional reactions by relying on two complementary measures: the traditional self-report measures as well as facial expression analysis. We demonstrate that when people are feeling sad after watching the Sandy Hook Promise PSAs, they are significantly more likely to retain information from a news article about school violence. Furthermore, feelings of contempt and fear lead people to seek out additional information about gun violence. In addition, we find when people feel anger, contempt, and fear after watching the PSAs, they change their views of gun policies. Finally, fear and contempt increase people’s likelihood of becoming politically mobilized.

The article can be read here.

Celebrating 50 years of UIS

As part of celebrating the 50-year history of UIS, here is a link to a YouTube video featuring a 1998 interview with then Illinois state Senator Barrack Obama. The interview was conducted by Dr. Jack Van Der Slik, former Director of the Illinois Legislative Studies Center, a predecessor to ILLAPS.

Recent Research

ILLAPS Visiting Researcher Manuel Gutierrez recently co-authored a chapter in Binational Commons with Kathleen Staudt, from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Their chapter analyzes how federal and state policies shape binational cooperation between the US and Mexico. They argue both countries enact legislation at the federal level that affects the border but it is not common to see legislation aimed at local level institutional cooperation. The authors also discuss best practices for cooperation across the United States-Mexico border, as seen in San Diego – Tijuana and Laredo – Nuevo Laredo as well as an example of challenges in El Paso – Ciudad Juarez. They end their chapter with recommendations for border governance.

Binational Commons was edited by Tony Payan and Pamela L Cruz. It will be released by University of Arizona Press on October 6th. To find more information about the book, please click here.