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Attached is the 2011 jail inspection of the Champaign County jails by criminal justice specialist Brad Bresson of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Despite claims by Sheriff Dan Walsh that the downtown jail is uninhabitable, it passed state inspection.
Another crowd of people showed up for a second week to oppose plans for expansion of the Champaign County jail. Several individuals spoke during public comment. Among them were:
Mikhail Lyubansky, who writes and teaches about restorative justice, said, "Jail is just one strategy, not the only one" to public safety and called on the County Board to look into alternatives to incarceration.
Peter Campbell of the GEO Solidarity Committee said, "To argue that we should expand a jail in order to treat prisoners better is perverse: any public official who makes this argument is trading on the lives of the most vulnerable in our community for their own political gain."
Chris Evans spoke about the history of the public safety quarter cent sales tax, passed by voters in 1998. The sales tax ought to be brought back to voters, he said.
On Feb. 21-May 15 I will be co-teaching a series of classes for caregivers of individuals with mental illness. I took this class 2 years ago and it really helped me with dealing with the brother with Asperger Syndrome.
The classes are for the CAREGIVER, not the person with mental illness. There are other classes for them.
I encourage you to send this with the poster attachment to anyone who you think might benefit from such classes. We ask for a 13 week commitment. There is a lot of material including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the latest info on treatments for all kinds of disorders.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 356-1925 if you have any questions.
We have room for a few more people in the class.
Thanks for caring about those who are caregivers,
In honor of Black History Month, the IMC will be hosting a film series celebrating African-American filmmakers. The first showing will be of the 1993 film Sankofa on Tuesday, February 14th at 6:00 PM. Admission will be $3, with all proceeds going to IMC.
The story follows Mona, a contemporary model, as she is visited by spirits lingering in the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana and travels to the past, where, as a house servant named Shola she is constantly abused by her slave masters. Nunu, an African-born field hand, and Shango, Shola's West Indian love interest, all continuously rebel against the slave system. For Nunu this means direct conflict with her son (whose father is a white man) benefiting from the system as a head slave. Inspired by Nunu and Shango's determination to defy the system, Shola finally chooses to fight back against her masters.
On June 5, 2011 Champaign police choked a 20 year old African-American man in the back seat of a squad car while he was in handcuffs. His crime? Asking why he had been stopped, roughed up, and pepper sprayed while walking in campus town.
The below report is by Belden Fields, writer for the Public i, newspaper of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center.
It has been two years since Kiwane Carrington was killed by a Champaign police officer, but 18-year-old black youth, Calvin Miller, is still afraid of the police. So when a Champaign cop attempted to pull him over for no apparent reason, he panicked. He only wanted to get home that night.
When Calvin appeared in court for arraignment on Monday afternoon, he walked into the courtroom with crutches. His right ankle was sprained, maybe fractured. His right eye was swollen shut. He also had bump on the right side of his forehead. Other people noticeably stared at him.
Called before Judge Richard Klaus, Calvin was told that he was being charged with resisting a “peace” officer. He had “exited a fleeing vehicle” and “lunged” toward Champaign police officer Matt Rush. He was also being charged for criminal damage to property, less than $300, when the vehicle he was driving ran into the porch steps of a house. The story Calvin told me after the hearing was significantly different.