Community Justice Collaborative Presentation

The following is a presentation provided by the newly formed “Community Justice Collaborative” who presented this information to the Champaign County Board on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

“The Community Justice Collaborative (CJC) Report on the Jail is intended to serve as a summary of available information and research relevant to the future of Champaign County’s jails. It is intended as an accessible resource for policymakers and constituents to understand the history of the conversation, the challenges the county faces, and community-recommended strategies for moving forward.

The CJC proposals outline an approach that closes the downtown jail without resorting to a multi-million dollar jail building project that is out of step with current trends. The current stasis has resulted in the inability to move forward on this and other agenda items desired by the county board and their constituents.

The recommendations here are data-driven, strategic, sustainable, and aligned with core values of civil rights and fiscal responsibility. The recommendations are aimed at producing a significant win for the county by improving the conditions at the jail and saving taxpayers money. It positions Champaign County as a model for how to adapt to a changing regulatory framework.

This report was compiled by a collaborative of concerned residents including current and future county board members, elected leaders, community organizers, researchers, social service providers, civil rights advocates, formerly incarcerated individuals, and others. Together we articulate a way forward on the jail that addresses root causes, meets the needs of those incarcerated as well as the jail staff, addresses challenges of racial justice, anticipates policy changes such as bail bond reform and decarceration efforts, all within a context that is financially realistic. We are united in these concerns.”

You can download the presentation below:

Community Justice Collaborative Report on the Jail (4)

Revisiting Recommendations

On October 24th 2019, community members gathered at a meeting of the Champaign County Board to deliver public comments and listen to board discussion on the “Champaign County Public Safety Facility Master Plan 2019 jail consolidation”. The proposed consolidation plan – estimated by the Sheriff at this meeting to cost anywhere between $42-$52 million – raised many concerns by activists in particular.

Dottie Vura-Weis, who has organized with Build Programs Not Jails for several years, delivered commentary to the board during public participation providing a handout to each board member as well as those in the audience. The short handout provides a history of the jails, a snapshot of jail demographics, as a useful summary of recommendations by the Champaign County Community Justice Task Force (2013) and the Racial Justice Task Force (2017).

You can download Dottie’s pamphlet below.

2019-10-15 Brief Summary of CJTF & RJTF recs-R1

Spring Meeting Dates

You can always check our Meetings and Actions page for upcoming meetings but these spring general meetings will explicitly follow up with exploring action items that were created at our community event, “Challenging State Violence”.

Monday, March 27th 6:30pm

Monday, April 10th 6:30pm

Monday, April 24th 6:30pm 

All meetings are at the Independent Media Center located at 202 S. Broadway Ave. in Urbana. Ramp accessibility is located at the back of the building. If you have an questions or concerns about further accessibility please do not hesitate to contact us or the IMC staff. All meetings are always family/caregiver/child/nursing-parent friendly.

Challenging State Violence: Community Strategies and Tactics

Join us, Sunday March 12th from 4-7pm, at the Independent Media Center for a unique event!


As the tide of alt-right repression is on the rise, the new political landscape calls for those of us involved with social justice movements to come together. But what does it mean to build sustainable and intersectional solidarity across a wide spectrum of community groups? As an organization that focuses on state violence and criminalization, Build Programs Not Jails would like to invite the many communities and organizations we work with to join together for a critical discussion about the future of criminalization in the U.S.

What will a Trump presidency mean for various communities and how they are criminalized? How do we begin to build the kind of solidarity that can help us fight back sustain our resistance beyond the age of Trump?

This event will examine how education, surveillance, incarceration, borders, and alternatives to incarceration are increasingly impacted by heightened criminalization and state violence.  We will hear briefly from individuals working on the ground in CU who are dealing with ICE raids as well as from Muslim community members reaching out ins solidarity. Several community organizations will be present to showcase their own work and to help us get plugged in to resistance already in action.

In addition to critical discussion and strategizing, this event will include performances by DJ Pelmore, Trey King, and Patricia Bradford.

Refreshments will be served.

Together, we will identify some concrete next steps in addressing this repression locally and nationally.

Check out the Facebook event.