Kankakee County Criminal Justice Committee met May 15.
Here is the minutes provided by the committee:
Mr. Hess, Mr. Liehr, Mr. Olthoff, Mr. Byrne, Ms. Parker, Mr. Snipes, Mr. Ekhoff, Mr. Smith, Ms. Dunbar, Mr. Carrico and Ms. Zuccollo
Mr. LaGesse, Mr. Fairfield and Mr. Ritter
Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Sirois
Sheriff Mike Downey, Chief Ken McCabe, Bob Gessner, Tom Latham, Sandi Cianci, Wes Andrews, and Kevin Duval
The meeting was called to order by the Committee Chairman, Mr. Hess at 7:30 a.m.
3. Approval of Minutes: April 10, 2019
Mr. Olthoff made a motion to approve the minutes, and Ms. Parker seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote
4. Judicial – Chief Judge Michael Kramer
Chief Judge Michael Kramer was not present at the meeting.
5. Circuit Clerk’s Office - Sandi Cianci
Mr. Byrne made a motion to combine and approve the monthly report, and Mr.
Olthoff seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.
Ms. Cianci reviewed and discussed the reports with the committee.
Ms. Cianci updated the committee on the computerization update and the process of how that is moving along. The hope is to be integrated by July 1st.
There are multiple departments that are affected by the computerization update.
Ms. Cianci also continued to update the committee on the status of employees.
Mr. Wheeler recommended that Ms. Cianci speak with Human Resources regarding scheduling.
Mr. Sirois asked what solutions have been thought of to expedite the process. Are there ideas that do not involve throwing more people at it?
Ms. Cianci stated that she is hopeful that the new integration will help relieve the backlog. Mr. Byrne asked about the possibility of flex schedule workers.
Ms. Cianci stated it all comes down to the budget.
7. State’s Attorney’s Office – Jim Rowe
Mr. Rowe was not present; Mr. Joe Kosman presented the reports to the committee. Mr. Kosman reviewed and discussed the reports with the committee.
Grand Jury Report
Grand Jury Statistics Report, April 2019
There were no questions from the committee.
Mr. Ekhoff made a motion to combine and approve the report and Mr. Snipes seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.
8. Public Defender’s Office – Gus Regas
Mr. Liehr made a motion to approve the report and Mr. Byrne seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.
Mr. Regas was not present.
9. Probation – Tom Latham Monthly Report
Ms. Dunbar made a motion to approve the monthly report, and Mr. Carrico seconded it.
There were no questions or comments from the committee.
Motion carried with a voice vote.
Mr. Latham updated the committee on the impacts of the bail reform act.
Mr. Latham added that the issues that Ms. Cianci discussed are important to get fixed. It is extremely important for the information to be available in real time when dealing with probation cases. It is difficult to know if someone had court, what happened at court, if they missed court, etc. The orders need to be entered daily.
Mr. Latham stated that he is going to continue to watch the changes in legislation and update the committee.
10. Sheriff/EMA Department – Sheriff Mike Downey
Mr. Fairfield made a motion to approve the monthly report, and Mr. Smith seconded it.
Motion carried with a voice vote.
Sheriff Downey reviewed and discussed the report with the committee.
With the local population rising, the Cook County inmates were sent back to Cook County, there were only about 16 inmates. This didn’t affect the relationship that we have with Cook County, but they understood our situation with the local population.
Mr. Snipes asked about the programs available for inmates that are reentering the population.
Sheriff Downey reviewed the available programs with Mr. Snipes and the committee.
Mr. Olthoff questioned the statistics of ICE detainees and the number of them that are felons.
Sheriff Downey stated that he doesn’t have an exact number, but he does have some information to share with the committee regarding that. Sheriff Downey stated that there is a lot of misinformed information.
Mr. Wheeler asked about the meals and if there are standards that we are required to meet.
Sheriff Downey confirmed.
Sheriff Downey stated that there are yearly IDOC inspections and about four total ICE inspections, and the expectations have been exceeded with each and every inspection.
Mr. Snipes stated that he had spoken with a previous inmate at Jerome Combs and the inmate stated that he was impressed with the food that was provided and with him having specific needs for his diabetes.
Sheriff Downey stated that they are required to prepare special meals for medical issues, religious issues, and allergy issues. Sheriff Downey stated that they pay for a better quality of food, rather than going through a “corrections” type of food distributer. It eliminates problems within the jail and well worth it.
Sheriff Downey updated the committee on the status of the radio upgrade. Sheriff stated that his department, the coroner, and probation will all be under one lease and financing. The numbers will be presented for the Finance committee.
Sheriff advised that while shopping for the best interest rate and terms, with Motorola the first payment isn’t due for a full year.
Sheriff Downey continued to show a video of what the officers do and how they help the community. Sheriff Downey showed a video of an officer assisting two younger girls during the flooding and commended the officer for his preparedness to assist readily.
Sheriff also stated that there was a World War II veteran who passed away at 94 years old and a Kankakee resident. He had zero family and his burial was on May 8th. Sheriff Downey received a call and asked if there were officers that could be present at his burial since there would be nobody there. Sheriff stated that his officers ended up being pallbearers for this veteran. Sheriff thanked his officers for their care in the community and how proud he was of his officers.
Sheriff Downey addressed the public comments that were made at the County Board meeting regarding immigration and the false information that is often given. Sheriff wanted to clarify some of the charges of the ICE detainees that are being held at Jerome Combs. Sheriff read some of the charges that ICE detainees have which included predatory criminal sexual assault, manufacturing and delivery of cocaine, home invasion, and DUI involving death of another. This was just going through a few of them. Sheriff stated that for the newspapers and people to state that these detainees have done nothing wrong is Ludacris. The information that is given to the public should be accurate and correct information.
Sheriff discussed an agreement that would allow ICE to train Sheriff Deputies in order to be able to hold an ICE Detainee without having to wait for an ICE representative to arrive.
11. Coroner’s Office – Bob Gessner Monthly Reports
Monthly Receipts of Money
Mr. Liehr made a motion to combine and approve the monthly reports and monthly receipts, and Ms. Parker seconded it.
Mr. Gessner reviewed and discussed the reports with the committee. There were no questions from the committee.
Motion carried with a voice vote.
Mr. Gessner spoke about Brandon House and the treatment center that is available to our community.
Mr. Gessner spoke about the bones that were found over on River Road. He updated the committee that the property is owned by the Kankakee Park District and the area was the first cometary for the Kankakee State Hospital, dating back to the late 1800’s.
Ms. Parker thanked Mr. Gessner for the work he has done to educate people on how the possible legalization of marijuana can have negative effects.
12. Old Business/New Business
Mr. Olthoff made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 a.m., and Ms. Dunbar seconded it. Motion carried with a voice vote.