News

Cullerton Calls for Creative Solutions on Prisons

Cullerton Calls for Creative Solutions on Prisons

The problem of prison overcrowding in Illinois has no shortage of solutions, according to both lawmakers and groups in favor of reforming the criminal justice system.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says Illinois can spend less on incarceration and improve public safety, though it may take a few years to see the benefits.

“Sometimes it’s an investment and you don’t save the money right now, but that’s still a pressure that we are now feeling right now, in a stronger way, about saving money,” Cullerton said at a forum on the subject in Chicago.

Speakers from advocacy groups, like Rick Velasquez of Youth Outreach Services, believe the solution is to change sentences for certain crimes, all the way down to the juvenile level.

“We can do a lot more to change behavior without cuffing kids, without putting them in the back of a squad car and petitioning them to court,” Velasquez said.

Much of the blame for the overcrowding was put on mandatory minimum sentences that were put in place for certain drug crimes starting in the 1980s. Cullerton admitted that the lack of reform in those areas is due to fears from politicians that they’ll then be considered “soft” on crime.

 

 

 

Recent Headlines

in Local

Fulgenzi, Langfelder Continue to Address Liquor License Voting Concerns

5-26-15 John Fulgenzi

"It is what it is, and we have to make sure it works."

in Local

SMTD Votes to Cut Routes, Including State Fair Service

5-26-15 SMTD

The Springfield Mass Transit District will be doing away with several routes that officials say are unused, in just a month's time.

in Local

Springfield Woman Sentenced for Embezzling $400k

jail

A Springfield woman has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for embezzling more than $400,000 from her former employer.

in Local

Lawmakers Back Training for Hazardous Railroad Materials

railroad

The railroads that operate in Illinois are instructing local police and fire departments on how to handle a hazardous material spill.

in Local

Chatham Man Named Illinois National Guard Adjutant General

3-26-15 National Guard

Gov. Bruce Rauner has named Brig. Gen. Richard Hayes Jr. of Chatham as adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard.