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Illinois Republicans call for reforms of Prisoner Review Board | Illinois


(The Center Square) – In the wake of an early parolee who was arrested for allegedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend and killing an 11-year-old boy the day after his release, some are calling for changes to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.  

In an incident that is getting national attention, Crosetti Brand is accused of attacking his ex-girlfriend and her son with a knife, killing her 11-year-old son just a day after being set free. The attack occurred just hours before an order of protection hearing against Brand was to be held.

Both the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Prisoner Review Board subsequently claimed they did not know about the protection order hearing.

PRB Chairman Donald Shelter and board member LeAnn Miller stepped down in the wake of the deadly attack.  

“I think that the changes that are necessary here are evident in the fact that the panel didn’t take into consideration enough the domestic violence history of this particular prisoner, and the fact that there were reports by the victim of that person … knocking at her door, being around her apartment building, etcetera,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in Chicago at an unrelated event Monday. 

Pritzker said he is working to ensure all PRB members have more domestic violence training. 

During a news conference Tuesday, state Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, said under previous administrations, the board voted far less often to parole dangerous criminals.

“Governor Pritzker’s PRB is more than twice as likely to release someone from prison,” said Plummer. “We’re talking about people like the notorious Starved Rock killer, people like Paula Sims, multiple cop killers, child molesters and rapists.”

Senate Minority Leader John Curran, R-Downers Grove, said he is introducing a measure that would help prevent a similar tragedy.  

“My legislation would put victims first by requiring the PRB to make every effort possible to immediately inform a victim when an inmate is being released,” said Curran. 

Curran is also proposing that parole board members must have 20 years experience working in the criminal justice system, and undergo extensive training on the warning signs and outcomes of domestic violence. 

Other proposals include one from state Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, to increase penalties for violating an order of protection.

“The legislation I’m preparing to file would increase the penalty for violating an order of protection and ensure that this crime is treated with the seriousness it deserves,” McClure said. 

As for finding replacements to the PRB, Pritzker said Republicans have politicized the process, so it makes it more difficult, something Curran said is ridiculous.

“Here we have the prisoner review board and DOC both complicit in the death of a child and the governor talks about the process being political,” said Curran. “Please, that is nonsense. The governor needs to lead. We have had enough of his failures to run the agencies under his control.”

State Sen. Laura Murphy, D-Des Plaines, who is chair of the Senate Executive Appointments Committee which handles PRB appointments, did not reply to questions about the board.

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Caleb Alexander

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