Protest scheduled for Friday at Coles County Courthouse


Corryn Brock and Luke Taylor

Justice for Coles County, an organization supporting stronger sentencing from the justice system in Coles County, is planning to protest for their cause outside the courthouse at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

Jodee Gravil, the leader of the protest, says that she is motivated to this cause because her ex-husband was allegedly “repeatedly violating (her) Order of Protection” and other people were reporting similar issues.

In a press release, Justice for Coles County claimed that convicted criminals in Coles County were more likely to receive probation than jail time and that low bonds were allowing people to walk free while awaiting trial.

“We have noticed that recently bonds have been ridiculously low leading to dangerous individuals walking the streets awaiting trial,” Gravil said. “Also many violent criminals are only receiving probation upon conviction.”

The organization has emphasized that the protest will be peaceful.

Gravil said she hopes the change will come from the protests, like “more people will become aware of the issues and speak up.” She added, “Also our elected officials will take notice and crackdown on the criminals, making Coles County safer.”

The press release sent on behalf of the organization posed a question.

“And furthermore the convicted criminals are never seeing a jail cell as they are walking away with probation sentences. These convicts have hurt our children, battered women and much more. The victims are not able to walk around free of their nightmare so why should the perpetrators?”

A focus of the organization is State’s Attorney Jesse Danley, who is often spoken of when the group and similar groups talk about local justice system reform. He was unable to be reached for comment on the protest.

Luke Taylor and Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]