Build Programs, Not Jails!

Join our campaign to stop Champaign county from building a $32 million jail and investing instead in programs and services to help our community thrive!

Take Action! Build Programs, Not Jails meets regularly at the Independent Media Center in Urbana, IL. Check back often for our updated meeting schedule.

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Update on the No More Jails Campaign

Aug 12, 2013 | by admin

The Community Justice Task Force, a body appointed by the County Board to study alternatives to incarceration, presented its report on June 25th. They recommended a shift toward restorative justice and an increase in the percentage of the Public Safety Sales Tax ($4 million per year) that goes to prevention from 5% to 30%. CUCPJ support this and is calling for a re-entry program, Racial Justice Task Force, and a community-based mental health facility. Join our next planning meeting August 21at at 6pm at the Independent Media Center (downtown Urbana post office).

The Community Justice Task Force, a body appointed by the County Board to study alternatives to incarceration, presented its report on June 25th. They recommended a shift toward restorative justice and an increase in the percentage of the Public Safety Sales Tax ($4 million per year) that goes to prevention from 5% to 30%. CU Citizens for Peace and Justice support this increase.

The tax money should go towards other programs the Task Force recommended.  We especially emphasize the importance of the establishment of a re-entry program for the 437 people in Champaign County on parole.  The County needs to fund this. We also back the Task Force’s call for a Racial Justice Task Force to investigate why more than half the people in our county jail are African-American when they are only 14% of the general population. Lastly, we back the work of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in calling for a community-based mental health facility where people in crisis could go instead of being taken to the jail, which is what happens now. In terms of construction, we favor the County making maximum and creative use of existing facilities like the old nursing home and the Juvenile Detention Center as well as exploring ways to re-purpose the downtown jail.

On August 21st at 6 p.m. CUCPJ will have a major meeting at the IMC (202 N. Broadway, Urbana) to kick off the next phase of the campaign. Please come if you oppose the county spending millions on a new jail. We are building up to September 24th when Dr. Alan Kalmanoff will present his needs assessment report to the Board (6 p.m. at Brookens, 1776 E. Washington, Urbana).  In October, the Board will begin to deliberate on their decisions about how to handle the situation with the downtown jail and what programs they will support.

We need to keep up the pressure. Here are upcoming events where you can engage with the campaign:

August 17- No More Jails Table at Farmers’ Market in Lincoln Square parking lot – stall CG 7
August 21 – No More Jails Major Campaign Meeting – IMC at 6 p.m.
August 22 – County Board meeting at 7 p.m.
August 26-28 – County Board study sessions on the budget
Sept 6 – Darrell Cannon speaks at YMCA at noon, At IMC at 6 p.m.
Sept 7- Farmers’ Market – Stall CG 12
Sept 10 – County Board Committee of the Whole- 6 p.m.
Sept 19 – County Board- 7 p.m.
Sept. 21- No More Jails Stall at Farmers’ Market  CG 7
Sept. 24 – ILPP presents final needs assessment report to the County  Board
Sept. 27 – Angela Davis speaks at YMCA at noon

Note: All county board meetings are at Lyle Shields Room in  Brookens Admin Building, 1776 E. Washington, Urbana