Central Illinois residents, particularly those in Champaign County, watch out!

The Democratically-controlled Champaign County Board spent $120,000 to hire  a Berkeley, CA-based criminal justice consulting firm to make recommendations for changes to Champaign County’s criminal justice system.

Translation:  The Berkeley-based company is recommending bringing “alternative” criminal justice policies to the Champaign County, IL.

There will be a meeting in Urbana on Thursday, May 2nd, from 6-8p, for the general public to express their reaction to the draft report, which can be found and downloaded from here.


Some areas of concern as we see them:

Champaign County, as a whole, has been doing something right as crime has been on the decline, according to the California-based wizards of smart:

Yet they want to revamp the entire criminal justice system in Champaign County.

How so?


The Decision to Arrest and Detain.

The $120k preliminary report by this Berkeley company goes out of its way to recommend “alternatives” to incarcerating criminals.  It recommends citations for minor crimes, and creating disincentives to police to make custodial arrests in all but the most serious crimes.

Here’s a cute quote:  “Low risk offenders will both benefit the community and help it cope with service cuts.”

How will allowing minor criminals to continue to prowl the streets with impunity benefit the community?  Maybe it benefits the residents of Berkeley, California and their socially “progressive” attitudes being soft as puppy feces on crime, but Champaign-Urbana isn’t Berkeley, California (as evidenced by the Guns Save Life signs surrounding the twin cities, scaring the “good people” out, for instance).

Americans support tough-on-crime policies, not catch-and-release policies advocated by ivory-tower academics whose utopian ideas don’t hold up in the real world.

Remember Willie Horton?

William R. “Willie” Horton (born August 12, 1951) is an American convicted felon who, while serving a life sentence for murder, without the possibility of parole, was the beneficiary of a Massachusetts weekend furlough program. He did not return from his furlough, and ultimately he committed assault, armed robbery and rape.

Another one:

“The County should consider the use of Inmate Welfare Funds to start a bond fund to support the release of indigent suspectes who can be safely released pretrial.”

Hello, soft-on-crime, gun-hating leftists:  The whole point of bond is for the offender to have a vested interest in returning to court.  If the “indigent” suspect is bonded out with someone else’s money, why in the world would he or she be motivated to appear in court later?  This stuff isn’t rocket science.

More idealistic pronouncements from the wizards of smart:

“There should be an ‘800 number’ to allow those with valid reasons such as stalled cars on frozen days or failures of health or childcare to get a short continuance.”

Let me clue you in on how the real world works:  If I had that at my office for my employees to call in for b.s. reasons why they couldn’t come to work, a minority of my employees would come in to work on any given day, having used the “800 number” to tell me about stepping on a cactus, how their best man’s dog got run over by a combine or how they have to go to their Aunt Shirlene’s third funeral in two years.

Imagine the bravo sierra you would hear on the court’s “800 number”!

“Uh hello?  Hows ya’all doin’?  I can’t come in ’cause my phone’s battery died an’ dee alarm din’t go off.  Can I has a continyouants?”

There are some interesting recommendations for alternatives to jail, making it more like the Breakfast Club high school detention than incarceration.

“Weekend sentences for low-level offenders,” the report recommends – in a “warehouse” supervised by a single employee.  What could possibly go wrong there?  Let’s hire this girl to oversee 150 offenders on “weekend detention” and see what happens…

We say:  VOICEMAIL:  “Hey, Mongo, this is Terrance.  I’m sorry, I couldn’t score that mary jane from you today.  I’m at the Breakfast Club until Sunday night.  Man, you should see this hottie working the front desk.  I’m gonna get me some of that.   I’ll catch up with you Monday, okay?  Don’t you dare smoke that or sell it while I’m in, okay?”

The Berkeley boys also recommend all sorts of “out-custody” projects putting the inmates to work.  Illinois is already home to some of the highest worker’s compensation claims.  Imagine what those will be when LaShonda breaks her nail sorting recyclables.  Or when Billy the perpetual shoplifter twists his ankle and suddenly he’s in a neck brace with Kanoski and Associates representing him in a personal injury case against the county.  They’re gonna SUE and taxpayers (that’s you and me) are gonna get to pick up the tab.

The report also would create a plethora of new “support” positions to deal with screening, counseling and evaluating these so-called low and intermediate-level offenders, which include just about everything up to rapists, robbers and murderers.

These are just some examples we found and we only got up to page 70 or so in a very cursory look at the proposals.

In short, if you want your voice heard to counter some of these idealistic Berkeley, CA-style proposals, then you should attend this meeting Thursday at the Brookens Adminstration building at 1776 E. Washington, Urbana, IL from 6-8pm.




Consultant’s draft report: Abandon downtown jail ASAP

URBANA (News-Gazette) — Champaign County’s downtown Urbana jail should be abandoned “as quickly as possible,” and improvements also are needed at the newer east Urbana satellite jail, a criminal justice and facility consultant recommends to the county board in a draft 212-page report given to county board members Tuesday.

County board members reviewed the report for nearly two hours Tuesday evening. A two-hour public hearing on the document is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the county board meeting room at the Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington St., U.

The executive director of the Berkeley, Calif.-based Institute for Law and Policy Planning, Alan Kalmanoff, stressed Tuesday that the report is a draft, said a full executive summary and an action plan would come by the end of May, and appeared to hedge on items that were labeled as recommendations in the report.

2 thoughts on “CHAMPAIGN COUNTY: Watch out! Berkeley, CA-based company seeks to bring liberal criminal justice policies to Champaign County”
  1. I understand the bond explanation HOWEVER that IS penalizing people on no more than accusation. I think a better solution is for courts to operate three shifts -at least two- like the rest of society.

    Liken bond to a revocation/suspension regarding a DV accusation. It is straight up WRONG to punish someone based on accusation alone. I don’t dispute the interest in returning before the court, that’s a valid concept. Honor in clearing a persons name should suffice. If it does not then it should weigh toward guilt up to and possibly an admission of it.

  2. Interesting statistics, nothing surprising. As usual, the devil’s in the details. Read Appendix X carefully and notice the comparison statistics… the six counties they compared us against, and of course, the state numbers driven by chitago. Surprisingly, we notice that most offenders are unemployed (why should they get a job?) and young (crime has always been a young man’s game). Other things our Sheriff has been telling us for a long time like the mental health issues faced by the system.

    It’s the study conclusions and suggested solutions that worry me. Let’s actually inject a little common sense instead of the “they’re only misguided youth who are discriminated against” approach.

    ILPP ( http://ilpp.org/ )might actually do good work, but I wonder about the salaries for those consultant’s? And why are they organized as a non-profit? They’ve been pushing out PR articles pushing their viewpoint for months now, and haven’t even released the study. One example from early march: http://ijec.org/2013/03/12/mental-health-at-county-jail-spark-debate-over-services/

    Sure wish the county had spent that $120K on the downtown jail.

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