Satellite Jail Closure Victim Rights

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

As Winnebago County’s satellite jail prepares to close in a matter of days, dozens of inmates are being released on their own recognizance.

Which is creating serious concerns about a possible increase in crime and how to protect victims.

James Morris is one of many inmates who have been released from the county's satellite jail just days after being arrested, he's accused of breaking a window at his girlfriend's apartment and threatening to beat her up. Wednesday we talked with the victim about his release.

"He called me at work and asked me to post bail but I told him I wasn't going to do that,” says Rockford resident Cassandra Douglas.

But the man who allegedly victimized Cassandra didn't need to post bail. He got a free ticket out because Winnebago County’s satellite jail is closing.

"I'm glad he served some time but not enough as far as I’m concerned,” comments Douglas.

Winnebago County Attorney Paul Logli understands victim’s concerns and says there are no winners with the satellite jail closure.

"We’re not talking about a profit making business, we're talking about a government agency that's suppose to insure public safety. When your resources decline and the crime rate continues to increase, you've got a formula for a real civic crisis,” says Logli.

Logli says 30 to 50 percent of those released will re-offend, and previous victims can be a likely target. Cassandra Douglas says she's not afraid of the man who victimized her, because she says he's already left town.


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