Champaign County jail bookings show racial disparity over eight years

Black persons were booked at the Champaign County jail at least one and half times more than white persons over an eight-year period, according to a review of jail data by CU-CitizenAccess.org.

The jail system has been criticized for shortcomings in health care and infrastructure over the past decade. The latest plan to consolidate the two facilities, estimated to cost between $42 and $52 million and is still being discussed by the county board.

There were a total of 49,535 jail bookings from January 1, 2012 to March 11, 2020 – specific bookings, not individual persons booked.

Campus crime decreased after coronavirus, but crime statistics remain varied and ‘confusing’

Before University of Illinois students were sent home in mid-March, there were at least 183 crimes in Champaign-Urbana reported directly to university police — mostly underage drinking and theft. After March 21, the total number of crimes reported decreased, with 52 crimes directly reported to university police as of May 31 according to the daily crime log.

Timeline: Social media during Black Lives Matter protests and mall looting

The first on-street reactions of the Champaign-Urbana community on the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis were reported on local Facebook groups on May 29, 2020. Since then, citizens from both cities posted videos, opinions, and encouragements to join the protests.

Those videos inspired others to organize their own events, protests, and petitions, all documented on public social media posts.

By the numbers: Market Place Mall looting

Following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25, protesters gathered at the Market Place Mall on May 31, and 26 people were subsequently arrested by the police on a variety of charges, such as burglary, criminal trespassing and mob action.

Of those arrested, Champaign County was the primary residence. Most were local, with 22 people coming from the cities of Champaign, Urbana and Rantoul. Only one individual was out-of-state, providing a residence of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the remaining 3 came from other counties in Illinois.

Most Illinois county jail facilities lacked isolation cells for disease, documents show

As the coronavirus outbreak hit Illinois, many county jails lacked a standard cell needed to isolate infected inmates who had a respiratory illness, according to a review by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting of annual jail inspections.

The Covid-19 outbreak at the Cook County Jail and other metropolitan jails across the country has received wide attention, but jails in downstate Illinois have come under little scrutiny. In addition, officials at many jails contacted by telephone by the CU-CitizenAccess and the Midwest Center about their efforts to combat the virus did not return calls, abruptly hung up, or told reporters to call later with no additional information given.

Dangerous flaws in medical care persist in Champaign County jail

Lack of adequate medical care, whether routine or emergency, at the two Champaign County jail facilities is not only a local issue, but also echoes a national crisis in medical care at county jails.

Since 2016, there have not been reported deaths at the Champaign facilities, but complaints from inmates about poor health care in the jail have continued.

Wife of alleged kidnapper files for divorce

The wife of a man accused of kidnapping and killing an international student from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign last year has filed for divorce.

Police data show gun violence a chronic, growing problem across Illinois

His name was Devon McClyde and he was 16 years old when he was caught in the crossfire of an argument while playing basketball one evening in a local park in Danville on June 8, 2016. He died three days later – the victim of another gun crime in Central Illinois. At least 100 people died from gunfire over the past three years and at least 500 were wounded, according to data obtained from a sample of police departments of eight small cities in downstate Illinois. The data, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, is kept in different formats and is often incomplete. Yet the data show that gun violence has been a chronic issue over the past decade and that some cities have seen recent surges in shootings.