News Local/State

Champaign Co. Board To Hear Jail Report


A Champaign County task force looking at alternatives to incarceration and ways to limit recidivism presents its latest report to the county board on Tuesday.

The Community Justice Task Force's recommendations in the report include alternatives for jailing people with mental illness, increased sentencing options, and a re-entry program for people getting out of prison.

Democratic County Board Member, Astrid Berkson chairs the committee. She said the report suggests different ways to fund the proposed changes, including raising the public safety sales tax from 5-percent to 30-percent for preventive measures.

“Ultimately, these things save a lot of money,” Berkson said. “When you don’t put people in jail, and have them report to a day reporting center or something of that sort, it’s much, much cheaper. A detox is much cheaper than jail.”

The task force’s report will be included in a study by a California-based consultant on the future of jail facilities, which will be ready for the Champaign County Board in September.

The board meets for its study session at 6pm on Tuesday.