Changing tactics in their efforts with the war on drugs in the State of Illinois that will also reduce the overcrowding jail and prison crisis, lawmakers introduced a fairly new bill that prescribes to the decriminalization for possession of small amounts of marijuana resulting in misdemeanors and fines instead of permanent criminal records and long-term incarcerations.
Commentary by Mary C. Piemonte
The synthetic painkiller Fentanyl, a drug that is prescribed to cancer patients and those suffering from chronic pain, is the potentially dangerous culprit back on the scene causing havoc and chaos in Chicago, according to city health and fire officials. Continue reading
by Mary C. Piemonte
Although there is growing attention to the large number of Americans confined in state and federal prisons nationally, much less attention has been paid to local jails.
A large percentage of the inmate population of both sentenced offenders and pretrial detainees are in jail for nonviolent offenses such as traffic, property, drug or public order violations.
And low-income individuals and communities of color across the nation disproportionately experience the negative consequences of incarceration, according to Cook County public officials in the criminal justice system.
However, Cook County was one of 20 jurisdictions from 45 states selected on May 27, 2015, to receive a $150,000 planning grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “to reduce the number of low level nonviolent offenders incarcerated in the Cook County Jail.”
by Mary C. Piemonte
After seven years of litigation, on July 29, 2014, the City of Chicago provided Jamie Kalven, founder and principal staff member of the Invisible Institute, with a batch of documents on police misconduct that took place between 2001 and 2008.
According to Kalven, the list of misconduct reports involved police officers assigned to “public housing south” and those who participated in any of the Chicago Police Department’s “early intervention” programs. The documents were produced by the city as a result of “Bond v. Utreras” and other lawsuits.
Kenneth Shoulders, suspected to be a high-ranking member of the Conservative Vice Lords, was among 26 other gang members of that sect charged last month “for their alleged roles in supplying and distributing heroin and crack cocaine” in the neighborhood just north of Douglas Park on the city’s west side” according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The alleged illegal drug activities occurred south of the Interstate 290 Eisenhower Expressway corridor that has been referred to as the “Heroin Highway,” according to the DEA, “because of the accessibility it provides to city and suburban heroin customers.”