Panel to discuss racial disparities in Illinois prisons

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The Illinois Drug Education and Legislative Reform and the Coalition of Students of Social Change, along with nine other organizations, will present a panel tonight to discuss racial disparities in prisons throughout Illinois. The panel will meet from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Saunders Lounge in Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls, 902 College Court in Urbana.

According to a press release from the Illinois Drug and Legislative Reform, as of June 2001 there were nearly 20,000 more black males in the Illinois state prison system than there were black males enrolled in the state’s public universities.

Walter Boyd of the Protestants for Common Good in Chicago, Ill. is expected to discuss the issues of racial profiling, the prison-industrial complex and why race and incarceration are linked. Adam Wolf of the American Civil Liberties Union Drug Law Reform Project is expected to discuss the effects of confidential informants, selective enforcement and prosecution of drug laws, the use of drug dogs in public schools of color and mandatory drug testing of pregnant black women.

A question and answer session, followed by a spoken word performance by Daily Illini columnist George Ploss, have been planned to conclude the event.

Log on to and read Thursday’s edition of The Daily Illini for more information on the panel and the issues discussed.