Category Archives: Champaign County

Fines, Fees, and Escalating Bail Bonds: Champaign County Urgently Needs to Implement the Pretrial Fairness Act

The Champaign County Bailout Coalition (CCBC) is a grassroots organization that uses community donations to pay low bail amounts for incarcerated individuals who don’t have access to financial resources in their moment of crisis. Founded in 2018, CCBC now pays … Continue reading

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Countering Violence in Champaign-Urbana

The uptick in murders in 2021 represents a national crisis. In 2020, the FBI counted 21,750 homicides in the US, a 30 percent increase over 2019 and the largest percentage increase since 9/11. The total number of murders rose slightly … Continue reading

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Ending Gun Violence Requires Long-Term Investments in People and Communities

Quansay L. Markham (17 years old), Jonathon McPherson (17), Jadeen Moore (19), Acarrie Ingram-Triner (19), and Jordan Atwater-Lewis (17) are among the people who were shot and killed in Champaign-Urbana in 2021. Are there things we could have done as … Continue reading

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Taking the Band-Aid Off of Mass Incarceration

On a bad day, those of us seeking justice can find little to be hopeful about. The recent acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse again reminds us that the law is designed to protect white lives. Even after widespread protests and demonstrations … Continue reading

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Urbana’s Long Search for Traffic-Stop Equity

In 2004 the State of Illinois required all law enforcement agencies to report their annual traffic stop data to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The Urbana Police Department’s (UPD) data shows they have enforced traffic laws inequitably every year … Continue reading

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The Congolese Community of Champaign County

We are the Congolese Community of Champaign County. The estimated number of Congolese living in Champaign County is more than 6,000 persons. Our mission is to support each other and help our children learn about the country, as well as … Continue reading

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Shelter Resources for the Homeless

The cold months are upon us, a dire reality for the homeless in our community. Here the Public i offers a short list of emergency shelters in the community. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all … Continue reading

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Shamar Betts: Caught in a Legal Drama that Started Before He was Born

No one wants to be the poster child for a Supreme Court challenge. However, finding his case before the Supreme Court could not only help Urbana resident Shamar Betts resolve his own situation, but it could redraw the legal lines … Continue reading

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Acceptance or Approval? LGBTQ Housing in 1960s and 1970s Champaign-Urbana

In 1960s Champaign-Urbana, the state and civil society did not actively approve the existence of LGBTQ people, but gave passive acceptance for them to do as they wished in their own homes. Records of this life have been preserved in … Continue reading

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The Effect of the Courts on Everyday Life in America

If the confirmation hearings over the last couple of months haven’t focused attention on our courts, I’m really not sure what can. But as much as the federal courts receive the attention of the media and our nation’s law schools, … Continue reading

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Our County Nursing Home for Sale

(Belden Fields is the Chair of Friends of Champaign County Nursing Home) At its January 9, 2018 meeting, the Champaign County Board decided to put the Champaign County Nursing Home up for sale. All the Republicans voted in favor, and … Continue reading

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