Category Archives: Justice

Statement on the Upcoming Ballot Referendum on “Public Facilities”

Statement delivered by Build Programs, Not Jails before the County Board on August 18, 2016.  Last week [on Tuesday, August 9, 2016] the County Board’s Committee of the Whole voted in favor of placing a referendum on the November ballot … Continue reading

Posted in Justice, Prisoners | Comments Off on Statement on the Upcoming Ballot Referendum on “Public Facilities”

State’s Attorney Rietz Goes Easy on Violent Police and Jail Officers

Rape On March 30, 2015, there was a ceremony in the Champaign City Building during which Officer Jerad Gale was given the award for being “Officer of the Year.” About a year later, in May 2016 this same officer pleaded … Continue reading

Posted in Justice, Police | Comments Off on State’s Attorney Rietz Goes Easy on Violent Police and Jail Officers

In Memory, Honor, and Love of Gene Vanderport

It is difficult to write about an untimely death of someone whom one has known for almost half a century. Gene was my student, my comrade, and my friend since the late 1960s. Only a couple of years after my … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Justice, Labor/Economics, socialism | Comments Off on In Memory, Honor, and Love of Gene Vanderport

The Myron Scruggs Case and the Champaign Police Department

by Belden Fields An  Ugly Image From the Past In the late 1960s, I joined the newly created chapter of the Champaign County ACLU and became the chair of its investigations committee. I received a call from a woman member … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Justice, Policing | Comments Off on The Myron Scruggs Case and the Champaign Police Department

Racism and Mass Incarceration in the US Heartland: Historical Roots of the New Jim Crow

If asked what state had the highest rate of incarceration rate of black men, most people would likely cite somewhere in the old Confederacy, perhaps Mississippi or Louisiana. They would be about 1000 miles too far South. According to labor … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Justice, Latino/a, Prisoners | Comments Off on Racism and Mass Incarceration in the US Heartland: Historical Roots of the New Jim Crow

Black Lives Matter C-U Summer Activities

Social justice collective, Black Lives Matter, the Champaign-Urbana chapter, has been gaining further traction within their outreach. From demonstrations and panel meetings, to youth involvement and local radio shows, Black Lives Matter’s efforts continue to make striving progress throughout the … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Human Rights, Justice | Comments Off on Black Lives Matter C-U Summer Activities

Incarceration figures

Some figures compiled in the Coalition for Prisoners’ Rights Newsletter (April 2016). Reprinted with Permission. I. Number Incarcerated in U.S., 2014 1.5 million people at an annual per person cost of $80 billion–approximately $51,250 each. (A “free world” minimum wage of $15/hr … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Justice, Latino/a, Prisoners, Women, Youth | Comments Off on Incarceration figures

Barbara Kessel Accepts Humanitarian Award

Barbara Kessel’s acceptance statement of the 2016 James R. burgess, Jr.-Susan Freiberg Humanitarian Award given by the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Countywide Celebration Committee: “I am happy for this opportunity to remind the audience that as we sit here … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Human Rights, Justice | Comments Off on Barbara Kessel Accepts Humanitarian Award

Courtwatch Victory

By Courtwatchers Courtwatchers is a group of citizens who volunteer to attend criminal proceedings by request of the defendant,a family member or a concerned party. We are there as witnesses to criminal justice in Champaign County, to figure out how … Continue reading

Posted in Justice, Policing, Women | Comments Off on Courtwatch Victory

This Black Life Matters

Michael Brown was killed a year ago. They used to say, “It’s been a long, hot summer” but it’s been another long, hot, horror-filled year in the US; every single day another Michael Brown. This is someone I know. In … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Justice, Policing | Comments Off on This Black Life Matters