Of the almost 4000 inmates released, 146 of them are sex offenders with 3 of those being convicted in Ogle and Winnebago Counties.

Police departments from all over the state of Illinois have sent a letter to Governor JB Pritzker demanding to know why the governor has reduced the sentences of violent criminals and convicted murderers.

The letter, sent on Friday by the Illinois Coalition for Public Safety (COPS):

Our job is is very difficult and dangerous under ‘normal’ circumstances. The level of risk has been increased exponentially as a result of the current pandemic. Unfortunately, officers now also fear that violent convicted felons are being released back into the communities we have sworn to protect and serve.”

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite-Ross has pointed out that some inmates are being let out so quickly that she doesn’t have proper time to inform victims, as is required by the Rights of Crime Victim’s Act and the Illinois Constitution.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite-Ross:

The lack of appropriate notice to my office regarding the early release of these individuals hinders my ability to notify victims and family members in a timely manner. As Winnebago County State’s Attorney, I will continue to oppose the early release and furlough of violent offenders back into the Winnebago County community.

My Stateline:

Right now the State’s Attorney’s office is trying to determine, case by case, whether theses violent offenders are being released due to COVID-19. Our law enforcement is joining with other agencies across the state demanding answers. They say they were told only “non-violent” offenders would be released early, not murderers.

State Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) has also criticized the governor’s decision to release criminals, saying “The governor did this quietly, and I felt that since he decided to victimize the victim’s families again, that the least I could try to do was make sure that they knew that that murderer was out.”

Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said there is no evidence that people are safer from the virus outside of a jail cell.

He says the Winnebago County Jail has reduced its population by about 300 in recent weeks, and thinks that inmates are more than capable of following social distancing guidelines.

“The notion that the jails and prisons are not safe, well, I beg to differ,” Caruana said Tuesday. “We’re doing everything we can to keep it clean. We clean morning, noon, and night. We had a company here that did sterilization of everything.”

 

Weren't we told that inmate releases were an attempt to reduce inmate population and stop the spread of coronavirus?