Illinois Public Media News


AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 26, 2012

ISU Police Cracking Down on Jaywalkers

Illinois State students are on notice: campus police are about to get tough - on jaywalking.

The Pantagraph newspaper in Bloomington reports (http://bit.ly/IeVgz1) that more than 30 percent of the people who took a recent campus survey said jaywalking is a serious problem. And police are taking it seriously.

ISU Police Chief Aaron Woodruff says fliers warning students are being handed out this week. Next week jaywalkers will get tickets and have to pay fines.

In the same survey more than a quarter of the respondents said drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks are a big problem, as well. The chief says those drivers will be getting tickets, too.

Of the 1,500 traffic accidents in Normal in 2011, 17 involved pedestrians.

Download mp3 file
Categories: Criminal Justice
Tags: crime

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 17, 2012

Indy Police Chief Resigns Over Mishandling of Blood Vial

Indianapolis Police Chief Paul Ciesielski has resigned from his post over his department's handling of a blood sample taken from a police officer who was involved in a fatal 2010 crash.

Officials say Ciesielski submitted his resignation Tuesday, a day after the chief informed Public Safety Director Frank Straub that a vial of blood taken from Officer David Bisard following the August 2010 crash had been moved and not stored properly.

Mayor Greg Ballard says the mishandling of evidence erodes public confidence in the police department. He says he has asked the FBI to join the professional standards division in the investigation.

Officials say Ciesielski will remain with the department.

Download mp3 file

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 17, 2012

Indy Police Chief Resigns Over Mishandling of Blood Vial

Indianapolis Police Chief Paul Ciesielski has resigned from his post over his department's handling of a blood sample taken from a police officer who was involved in a fatal 2010 crash.

Officials say Ciesielski submitted his resignation Tuesday, a day after the chief informed Public Safety Director Frank Straub that a vial of blood taken from Officer David Bisard following the August 2010 crash had been moved and not stored properly.

Mayor Greg Ballard says the mishandling of evidence erodes public confidence in the police department. He says he has asked the FBI to join the professional standards division in the investigation.

Officials say Ciesielski will remain with the department.


AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 12, 2012

Illinois Seeks to Reduce Prison Overcrowding

Illinois lawmakers are once again debating a bill that could help ease the state's bursting prison population at a time when there are plans to close several correctional facilities.

But it may take some work to convince Gov. Pat Quinn to go along with the plan in reintroducing a program that he suspended two years ago due to problems surrounding it.

In 2010 Quinn put on hold the state's Meritorious Good Time program (MGT) which reduced the sentences for inmates considered non-violent. Quinn pulled it after he learned that more than 1,000 inmates did not serve the required minimum of 60 days and committed more crimes once back on the streets.

But some saw it as an election year political move.

Since that time, more than 4,000 inmates have been added to the ranks, pushing Illinois' total prison population to 49,000. The state's prison system is designed to handle a mere 33,700.

Some lawmakers and prison advocates are pushing Quinn to reinstate the MGT program to ease overcrowding and making unhealthy living conditions even worse.

"The decision to suspend Meritorious Good Time was the result of an election cycle political firestorm. Good time credits became widely and inaccurately described ... became the ammunition for political attacks between Illinois candidates and branches of government in 2009 and 2010," Malcolm Young, director of prison re-entry strategies at Northwestern University law school's Bluhm Legal Clinic, told an Illinois House Criminal Law Committee meeting in downtown Chicago on Wednesday.

Young supports passage of House Bill 3899 that would reinstate MGT. Chicago Democratic State Rep. Arthur Turner introduced the bill.

"It provides a reasoned, manageable, beneficial framework or approach to the challenge of implementing the good conduct program. It's an approach that would alleviate today's prison crowding crisis and accomplish other public policy goals," Young said.

Quinn's deputy chief of staff, Toni Irving, told the House committee that the old MGT law is no longer valid.

"The statute is outdated and at the time the statute was created, certain offenses that we now consider violent, i.e. DUI, can't be excluded," Irving said. "So, MGT as it currently exists isn't really a sound policy. It would require something brand new."

Irving added that Quinn is reviewing a similar bill introduced in the state Senate (SB2621) but is so far uncommitted to supporting it.

"We are certainly interested in working with the Legislature in making sure that we have a collaborative effort. I think it's super important that the legislature be very involved in this process since it's the legislature also determines the budget for the Department of Corrections and often times these things are linked to programs that are then defunded in the process," Irving said. "There has to be a connection between those two."

The push for early release of certain prisoners will grow if Quinn's plans to shut as many as 14 state juvenile prisons, several adult transition centers and a super max prison to save money as the state addresses budget issues.

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman,File)


AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 11, 2012

Illinois Lawmakers Urged to Act on Crowded Prisons

A panel of experts has told a state legislative committee that Illinois' prisons are bursting at the seams. They say immediate action is needed to reverse growing violence and worsening conditions for inmates and guards.

Legal experts and others who work with ex-inmates today urged support for an Illinois House bill that would revive a way to reduce prison populations through early release for good behavior. But a representative for Gov. Pat Quinn says he will not reverse his suspension of that measure without changes.

Quinn shut down the early release program in 2010 after The Associated Press reported that prison officials had implemented an unpublicized, accelerated version that was freeing criminals in as little as eight days.


AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 10, 2012

IWU Fraternity Suspended Following Student Death

A fraternity at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington has been suspended for three years after a student's death in March.

The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports (http://bit.ly/HtLpku ) that school president Richard Wilson announced the suspension in a statement Tuesday. Authorities in northern Illinois say 18-year-old Brandon Landau of New York was at a party in White Pines State Park and died after being found unresponsive with his lower body in a stream and his upper body on a log.

Sigma Pi can appeal the sanctions. It also can request reinstatement in 2015, but would face another four years of probation. Wilson says the university found the fraternity responsible for "serious violations.''

The university's Office of Judicial Affairs investigated the case and it had a hearing before the judicial committee.

Categories: Criminal Justice
Tags: crime

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 09, 2012

Police Investigate Double Murder in Decatur

Police in Decatur are searching for two suspects following the shooting deaths of a husband and wife Saturday night.

Authorities identified the victims as 34-year-old Freedom Cunningham and his 26-year-old wife, Central Cunningham.

Deputy Police Chief David Dickerson is calling on the public for help solving the crime.

The (Decatur) Herald-Review reports (http://bit.ly/HDivOk ) witnesses described the body of Freedom Cunningham collapsed on the porch of a Decatur home and Central Cunningham's body slumped in a van.

The newspaper reports that no arrests had been made by late Sunday. Police have executed several search warrants.

Categories: Criminal Justice
Tags: crime

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 09, 2012

House Panel Investigating State Rep. to Postpone Meeting

An Illinois House committee considering the expulsion of a Chicago lawmaker accused of bribery has postponed meeting due to the "possibility of further court action in the criminal proceeding,'' according to a recent letter by the group's leaders.

Members of an Illinois House panel investigation state Rep. Derrick Smith released a letter Saturday.

The committee had planned to meet in the coming days, but they say they'll postpone until later in the month. The letter says postponing allows more time to review and respond to any additional information.

Federal prosecutors claim Smith accepted a cash bribe from a campaign worker who was an undercover FBI informant. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has declined to comment.

Smith didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.


AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 06, 2012

Quinn Grants Clemency to 52 Illinois Offenders

Fifty-two people have been granted clemency by Gov. Pat Quinn for crimes that date back decades.

Quinn announced Friday that he has expunged the records of these offenders. In most cases, he's also granting full pardons.

The Democratic governor also rejected 136 clemency requests.

Quinn is whittling away at a backlog of 2,500 requests that piled up under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Now in prison himself, Blagojevich rarely took any action on clemency.

Most of the people whose requests were granted Friday had committed relatively minor offenses.

Twenty-five involved theft. Sixteen involved drugs. Eight offenses included some kind of violence, such as misdemeanor battery.

The oldest incident took place in 1958, the most recent in 2005.


Page 75 of 127 pages ‹ First  < 73 74 75 76 77 >  Last ›