Isak Griffiths, executive director of Courage Connection and Chris Anglin, founder of Safefield Consultants with the website for his firm

Local police battle domestic violence calls; services scarce for victims

On April 17, Jeremy Irons of Urbana was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aggravated domestic battery and intimidation. He had smashed his girlfriend’s head against the interior of her car until she passed out and then later choked her and threatened her by saying he might go to get a gun.

Domestic violence task force on ‘hiatus’

Johnathan Hettinger/For CU-CitizenAccess.org –Despite hundreds of domestic violence arrests each year in Champaign and Urbana, a task force formed to address the issue has stopped meeting. The Central Illinois Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Task Force is “on hiatus but not gone,” said task force co-chair Lisa Little, who is also a court advocate at Courage Connection. “on hiatus but not gone,”

When the task force originally met in May 2013, it received much media attention. But after two meetings, Nancy Hiatt left her job as the executive director of domestic violence service agency, the Center for Women in Transition. The Center is now known as Courage Connection.

Gov’t Watch: Lack of pre-trial release program halts progress at county jails

By Klaudia Dukala/For CU-CitizenAccess.org — When consultant Alan Kalmanoff was conducting his assessment on the Champaign County jails, he noticed inmates with mental health problems were “decomposing” because of the lack of medications available to them. Now, Kalmanoff, executive director of the Institute for Law & Policy Planning, based in Berkeley, Calif., said first steps have been taken to combat the problem. Kalmanoff, a consultant hired by Champaign County to assess the county’s criminal justice system, presented a 272-page report to County Board members in September 2013. In his report, Kalmanoff criticized the county for its treatment of mental health inmates at both the downtown jail, at 204 E. Main St., and the satellite jail, at 502 S. Lierman Ave., in Urbana. The report stated the jails didn’t have the proper “… resources to house, and sometimes segregate, [the mental health] population as necessary to provide for their care.”

Two decades of meth use

Michael Pasley first used meth in his early teens.

Two decades later, his use came to a quick end when he was arrested April 5, 2010, in Mattoon, Ill. The arrest came after he spent 22 straight days high on meth.

Weekly RoundUp: Syria

Discussion on Capitol Hill over whether the U.S. should take military action to punish Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons against its own people is heating up, and Illinois lawmakers are weighing their decisions. On one side of the coin, many worry about war fatigue and fear of triggering greater conflicts in the Middle East. On the other, fear that a failure to take action against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime will “embolden war criminals, dictators and despots for years to come.”

According to a Washington Times article, President Obama spoke to a crowd in Stockholm, Sweden. “"I do think we have to act. Because if we don’t, we are effectively saying that even though we may condemn it and issue resolutions and so forth and so on, somebody who is not shamed by resolutions can continue to act with impunity and those international norms begin to erode and other despots and authoritarian regimes can start looking and saying, ‘That’s something we can get away with,’ ” Mr. Obama said.”

But the decision is not so clear for members of the Illinois delegation.