Monday, June 10

Newly reconstructed for your convenience!

LDC citations are ‘suspect,’
AFSCME spokesman says

[JUNE 10, 2002]  The timing of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s citation of Lincoln Developmental Center for safety violations is "suspect," according to Roberta Lynch, deputy director of American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. AFSCME represents the workers at LDC.

"I think it is rather suspect that these incidents, which were all relatively minor and would not normally have risen to the level of calling in the Department of Public Health, suddenly elevated to a crisis just days before the General Assembly was called back into session," Lynch told the Lincoln Daily News.

Gov. George Ryan last winter cut the budget for LDC from last year’s $35 million to about $11 as part of a plan to downsize the facility from its former 370 residents to 100. At the last minute, state legislators restored the LDC funding in the budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Ryan has called the General Assembly back into a special session today to review cuts he is planning to make to the recently approved budget, which he says is about $700 million greater than the state will receive in revenue next year.

AFSCME officials are concerned that the governor intends to veto the higher appropriation.

"The General Assembly is going to consider amendatory vetoes in this special session, but the governor has called them into session without giving them any advanced notice of what his vetoes are going to be," Lynch said.

Lynch said the Department of Human Services called the Department of Public Health asking them to investigate the incidents.


[to top of second column in this article]

"The Department of Human Services [which oversees LDC] and the Department of Public Health have hastened to put LDC back into immediate jeopardy just before this special session. That is a sign that the governor and DHS want to discourage legislators from retaining this increased level of funding," she said.

If the governor does veto the additional LDC funding, the General Assembly has the option of overriding the veto.

Last week DHS was notified that LDC had been cited for three different incidents in which residents had been left unsupervised long enough to be a threat to their health and safety, Lynch said. [See June 8 article: "Department of Public Health cites LDC"]

The battle to downsize LDC has been ongoing since early last fall, when LDC was first cited for incidents which jeopardized the health and safety of its residents. Since that time, Gov. Ryan has reduced the population from about 375 residents to its current level of 248 and also announced plans to cut the number of employees.

A ruling handed down by Logan County Associate Judge Don Behle late in March stopped the governor and DHS from moving any more residents from the facility, and the proposed layoff of about 370 employees was also halted.

The state has appealed Judge Behle’s injunction, but no date has yet been set for a hearing before the Appellate Court.

[Joan Crabb]

Circuit clerk improves
service with technology

[JUNE 10, 2002]  Carla Bender, Logan County Circuit Court clerk, has announced the county’s participation in several technological improvements that will allow electronic access of court information and case data. As chairman of the county’s technology committee, Bender, in collaboration with the locally owned Integrity Data systems, implemented a county website, which is now operational at The site includes information about the various county offices and departments. It is currently still under construction and will grow as more pages are added.

The Circuit Court clerk’s page on the site allows the user to click into a centralized Internet database that allows inquiries on both criminal and civil cases. The user can search by case name or number, select a case, and then view such case information as charges, criminal dispositions/sentences, civil judgments, account/payment history (with the exception of child support payment history) and the history of case proceedings. This, of course, will allow court system information to be accessed immediately from offsite locations without the necessity to call or go to the Circuit Court clerk’s office.

"We are always seeking ways to improve communication and expand access to public records, and I believe this will be a very productive use of technology to do so," Circuit Clerk Carla Bender said. "By choosing an approach which shares a single offsite web server among all of the participating courts, we have significantly reduced the county’s initial cost to make the data available and eliminated security threats to county networks," Bender stated.


Another important project that Bender has been working on, in cooperation with Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, is the statewide victim notification system. Through the program, crime victims will be notified by phone when their attacker is released from an Illinois prison or jail. The system will automatically send a recorded message to registered victims when their assailants are released from sheriff’s or Illinois Department of Corrections’ custody. Victims, who are registered by phone and whose identities are kept secret, then confirm that they received the message, using an ID number.


[to top of second column in this article]

The Illinois attorney general’s office has begun tracking the nearly 40,000 prison inmates and approximately 40,000 parolees statewide. Nearly 90 counties, including Logan, have signed on to participate in the program. The target date for all counties to participate is Oct. 1. The registration and notification line is 1 (866) 5-NOTIFY.

"Victims have a right to know when their assailant is released from custody, and I am anxious to contribute to an effort to protect victims from further emotional and physical harm," Bender stated. "If a victim is certain that the justice system will provide notification of the offender’s release, that person can feel more safe and secure that the offender will not be released without their knowledge and have the opportunity to victimize them again.

"I believe that government should do everything possible to see that victims are protected and that they have all the information about their case as soon as possible. This program initiated by Jim Ryan will ensure victims access to the system, and they will not be put at risk for further harm," Bender said.

The complete implementation and training schedule for the automated victim-notification system across the state is currently being determined. The information from the circuit clerk’s database will be electronically transmitted to the system through use of an automated connection, thereby getting case event information in real time to the system for notification to victims to ensure their safety.

[News release]

Tell a friend about

Lincoln Daily

Celebrating American Theatre

Lincoln Community Theatre


Hello Dolly

June 14th - June 22
Johnston Center
for the Performing Arts

for ticket information, call 732-2640
or click here:

Want your ad to be seen all over Logan County?

Advertise with

Lincoln Daily News!

Call (217) 732-7443
or e-mail 

Last weeks articles


  • Crime Stoppers donates funds for new ERT vests

  • Teachers retiring in Lincoln area

  • Department of Public Health cites LDC

  • Mount Pulaski death under investigation

  • Illinois Senate week in review

  • Senate prescription drug plan awaits action by the governor


  • Logan-Mason Rehabilitation Center helps the disabled meet their goals  (Part 2)

  • Wednesday seminar focuses on assisting domestic violence victims in the workplace


  • Gov. Ryan commends legislative action on Lincoln Presidential Library


  • First sewer bids in under cost

  • Cool, wet spring


  • Earlier Sunday drinking issue brings controversy to council

  • City to hire one new police officer

  • AFSCME hails passage of a balanced budget


  • Budget keeps LDC open

  • General Assembly passes FY2003 budget
         Keeps Lincoln Developmental Center open

  • Early retirement bill heads to governor

  • Governor commends General Assembly for working together in a bipartisan effort to pass state budget

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Letters to the Editor