In these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am glad to have a leader like State Rep. Carol Ammons. She understands that criminal justice reform is linked to public health and safety.

We have seen outbreaks of COVID-19 in Illinois jails and prisons. The Cook County jail and Stateville Correctional Center are two current hot spots of the coronavirus. They have effectively become petri dishes that breed the disease until it spills out into our own communities.

Local officials have been considering the fate of our own Champaign County jail. Some have supported spending tens of millions of dollars on renovation. As former County Board member, Ammons spearheaded the campaign to stop jail spending. As state representative, she has backed legislation bringing bond reform that has led to Illinois lowering its incarceration rate for the first time in decades.

With more than 130 people still in our jail, there is still a need to further decarcerate Champaign County. There is no social distancing in jail. A COVID-19 outbreak in our jail would threaten the safety of us all.

As newly-elected chair of the Champaign County Democratic Party, winning the position with a 70 percent vote, Ammons has shown local voters support her advocacy around these issues. Ammons continues to stand against the local jail development, an issue Sheriff Dustin Heuerman recently admitted is “dead in the water.”

Ammons is the perfect leader in a time of crisis, an elected official who truly acts in the best interests of the public she serves.




via The News-Gazette

May 24, 2020 at 05:39PM