25 signatures reached
To: Champaign County Board
We Demand A New Vision for Criminal Justice in Champaign County
In light of the defeat of the sales tax referendum, we call on the Champaign County Board to shift direction and to abandon any plans to increase jail capacity. We urge the new board to take a leadership role in driving deep-seated reforms of the criminal justice system. The board must focus on addressing the issues of poverty, racism, and inequality in this county. This means urgently moving forward on the following:
1. Providing necessary facilities in the community including:
• Mental health and substance abuse treatment centers
• Shelter for the homeless
• Transitional housing for those returning from prison
2. Reforming the criminal justice system and eliminating disproportionate incarceration of Black people by:
• Ending cash bail
• Establishing a pretrial services program
• Making fees and fines more fair
• Providing resources for the Racial Justice Task Force
• Using money freed by retired bonds to fund alternatives to incarceration
• Closing the downtown jail
3. Supporting the Champaign County Nursing Home – the Nursing Home is important to the quality of life of both its residents and their families, especially those that are Medicaid recipients.
Why is this important?
For five years Build Programs, Not Jails has fought against jail building in our county. It is time for social and racial justice. Our county jail population is 65-70% Black in a county that is 13% Black. Time to end racism, to reduce the jail population and reallocate funding from law enforcement to providing services and creating pathways to success for people in our county.