Drops in recidivism, opiate deaths prove 'real justice reform' is working, Kane County sheriff says

Drops in recidivism, opiate deaths prove that 'real justice reform' is working, Kane County sheriff says

  • Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain says 'real justice reform' instituted at the county jail has led to lower rates of recidivism and crime, as well as fewer fatal drug overdoses among former inmates who sought treatment while behind bars.

    Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain says 'real justice reform' instituted at the county jail has led to lower rates of recidivism and crime, as well as fewer fatal drug overdoses among former inmates who sought treatment while behind bars. Daily Herald File Photo, 2019

  • Lake County sheriff's office dog Ryker shows off the new bullet- and stab-resistant vest he received through the charity Vested Interest in K9s Inc.

    Lake County sheriff's office dog Ryker shows off the new bullet- and stab-resistant vest he received through the charity Vested Interest in K9s Inc. Courtesy of the Lake County sheriff's office

  • Lake County sheriff's dog Dax models his new bullet- and stab-resistant vest.

    Lake County sheriff's dog Dax models his new bullet- and stab-resistant vest. Courtesy of the Lake County sheriff's office

 
Posted2/25/2022 5:30 AM

On the last page of the 2021 annual report for the Kane County sheriff's office, Sheriff Ron Hain lists his goals for this year.

One stands out: "Implement IDOC detainee return to community program."

 

Hain wants to bring inmates from state prisons back to the county jail about six months before their parole date.

Why? Doesn't the sheriff already have enough to do?

To keep them from returning to a life of crime.

Hain believes the jail programs he's developed in his three-year tenure -- including job training, OSHA certification classes, and an addiction-recovery program -- will help people prepare for life after prison better than the state department of corrections.

It would be another of his attempts at what he calls "real justice reform."

"A lot of sheriffs look at me sideways," Hain said Thursday, describing reactions to his efforts.

But, he said, he's not soft on crime. "I'm just soft on people," he said.

He will discuss his efforts from 6 to 7 p.m. March 9 at a public presentation, "A Working Solution for Modern Justice," at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin. He will be joined by a current jail resident, a former jail resident, and Lighthouse Recovery's clinical director, Nate Lanthrum. Lighthouse Recovery runs the addiction program at the jail.

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The program is free. To sign up, visit eventbrite.com/e/256281433667.

Hain is waiting on approval from Illinois Department of Corrections for his plan. He hopes to implement it by summer, he said.

Tidbits from report

The 2021 report says that since 2018, crime in Kane County is down 16%, based on the number of criminal cases filed.

Jail violence also is down, according to the report.

Opiate overrode deaths among former inmates who received addiction treatment while in jail are down 89%, the report states.

The six-year average recidivism rate has decreased from 49% to 18%, and the average daily population of the jail is currently 325, down from 515 when Hain took office in December 2018.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Hain credits the jail's new emphasis on getting people help for addiction, mental illness and social issues. "It's a very holistic approach," he said.

New scam

As if seeing a text message from your boss weren't enough to increase your anxiety/blood pressure/irritation, now you might be getting fake ones, the Better Business Bureau reports.

"Scammers find out where you work and pose as the CEO or other executive," said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Typically it comes from a number you don't recognize. The sender knows your name, where you work, and your boss's name: "Hi Susan. I'm tied up in a meeting but let me know if you get this text. Thanks, (boss's name).

If you reply, you'll be asked to do a quick task -- such as buying gift cards for a client or wiring money to another business. Or maybe to send personal information to someone.

Don't do it without checking with your boss at a number you know to be valid.

And be wary of unusual requests from a number you have saved. The scammers may have cloned phone numbers and hijacked your boss' number.

Do not reply, even if you suspect it is a scam. Doing so lets scammers know they have reached an active number and could you leave you vulnerable to future attacks. Block the number and delete the message.

"Con artists even tried the scam on the BBB," Bernas said. "We had processes in place to prevent the scammer from being successful."

Bernas also noted that sometimes scammers do something similar by posing as a friend asking for a favor, such as help buying a gift card. Who wouldn't help a friend?

Again, be suspicious. Don't do anything without checking with that friend or relative.

Masks off in court

Following the lead of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Illinois Supreme Court announced this week that it is lifting its mask requirement for courthouses across the state, effective Monday.

However, each circuit court can still adopt its own rules, based on local health conditions, the high court declared.

"Absent such local rules, the wearing of masks within courthouses is permitted, but not required," the court's order states. "Persons choosing to wear a mask may be directed by a judge to remove it if deemed necessary for court purposes, such as when addressing the court or testifying."

Vests for dogs

Some dogs who work hard to protect the people of Lake County now have some protection of their own.

Lake County sheriff's office dogs Ryker, Danno, Dax and Duke recently received bullet- and stab-resistant vests thanks to a donation from the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s Inc.

The vests, valued at $1,744 to $2,283, are embroidered with the sentiment "Honoring 'Blue Paws Strong.'"

"We are so thankful for this generous donation of body armor for our canines, as we need to protect our four-legged deputies just as we do our human deputies," Sheriff John D. Idleburg said this week. " All of our canines are equipped with armor for their protection. The armor previously worn by canines Dax and Duke was going to expire, so they, along with canines Ryker and Danno, now have the most current protection."

Established in 2009, Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a charity whose mission is to provide such vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies. It has provided more than 4,500 vests worth $6.9 million, through both private and corporate donations. For more info or to learn how to contribute, visit vik9s.org.

• Have a question, tip or comment? Email us at copsandcrime@dailyherald.com.

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