The following press release was received from the Office of the McHenry County State's Attorney.
August 30, 2010
McHENRY COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE TO LAUNCH FIRST OFFENDER PROGRAM ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Louis A. Bianchi, McHenry County State’s Attorney, is pleased to announce the start of a new alternative sentencing program for first-time, non-violent felony offenders. The program, which is modeled after a widely successful and longstanding Kane County program, is designed to hold defendants accountable for their criminal conduct with the assistance of citizen volunteers. Only first-time felony defendants accused of non-violent offenses will qualify for this program---persons accused of drug offenses, DUI related offenses or sex crimes will not be eligible to participate.
Defendants may submit a program application to the State’s Attorney’s Office if they choose to do so. Once a defendant is found eligible by the State’s Attorney’s Office, the defendant will appear before a panel of citizens who will screen the defendant through an interview process. The citizens will determine if they should propose the defendant’s acceptance into the program and, if so, recommend various conditions be required for successful completion. These conditions may include public service, drug and alcohol counseling, anger management counseling, completion of a GED or other educational program, restitution to the victim(s) for damages, a fine and any other terms deemed appropriate by the panel and the State’s Attorney’s Office. If a defendant agrees to the program terms and completes all conditions by a pre-established date, the defendant’s felony charges would be dismissed. A defendant who fails to complete the program requirements or otherwise violates terms of the program will return to a felony courtroom to face the original charge(s).
The First Offender Program was initiated by the McHenry County State’s Attorney to conserve judicial resources by reducing the number of felony cases before the criminal courts, while giving first time offenders an opportunity for rehabilitation and avoiding the negative consequences of having a felony conviction on their record.
State’s Attorney Not Subject to Freedom of Information Act
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