Category Archives: Public safety
Here we go again with the headlines about too many criminals in the Winnebago County jail. And the suggestion that we ought hire an “outside” consultant to tell us why the county is bucking national trends with more, not fewer, inmates.
Over the weekend, the Rockford Register Star’s Kevin Haas reported that the jail population continues to increase. A county board member wanted to know why. Wrote Haas:
“Board member John F. Sweeney wants the county to tap outside help to investigate why the local population continues to grow despite the national trend.
“Sweeney said at an Operations Committee meeting
(This is the tenth of 10 posts. Each is a chapter from the Building a Safe Community project I did for the county.)
A week at the RIC: The stories every decision maker should hear
“We have enough murders walking around on the streets without having boyfriends and girlfriends killing each other.”
Paul knows whereof he speaks. Almost killing his girlfriend is what got him into trouble in the first place. He’s one of the high-risk, repeat criminals the rest of us call “those people.”
Building a Safe Community: There’s no coddling of criminals at the RIC; but there are jobs and lives turned around
(This is the ninth of 10 posts. Each is a chapter from the Building a Safe Community project I did for the county.)
The Resource Intervention Center: An innovative model for national – and local – success to stop the revolving door
In-jail alternative-to-incarceration programs are becoming increasingly common around the country as local and state criminal justice systems adopt the best practices for reducing recidivism.
Standalone facilities like Winnebago County’s Resource Intervention Center are rare, if indeed, they exist at all. Preliminary research could find nothing similar, although there are similarities to traditional day reporting centers like the one …
(This is the eighth of 10 posts. Each is a chapter from the Building a Safe Community project I did for the county.)
Alternative-to-incarceration: a safer community, lower costs
Winnebago County’s two successful models: in-jail for inmates and the standalone Resource Intervention Center for offenders on probation – Let’s not be disingenuous. No alternative-to-incarceration program will be 100 percent effective.
Resource Intervention Center staffers readily say that among their worst days are those when they read that one of their supposedly successful clients is back in jail.
(This is the seventh of 10 posts. Each is a chapter from the Building a Safe Community project I did for the county.)
Winnebago County’s public safety sales tax
For more than two decades, Winnebago County walked a tightrope between federal oversight and an overcrowded jail. Built in 1974, that jail could house 180 prisoners. Over the next 20 years, inmate population doubled, then tripled. By 1994, the first federal overcrowding lawsuit had been filed. The county reached a three-year agreement to fix the problem.