criminal justice

ELIZABETHTOWN — Getting busted with a small amount of fake marijuana led to a more expensive lesson in criminal justice than Timothy Lee Cook could have imagined.

Cook, 54, agreed to a plea deal in Hardin County District Court last summer that kept him out of jail, but cost him $186 in fines and court fees. He couldn’t afford it himself. Bedeviled by mental disorders, he hasn’t held a job for more than 20 years. His 74-year-old mother put up the money.

Courtesy of John Eads (with thanks to Grecia White)

Murray State alumni are working around the world. John Eads graduated with a degree in social work last spring and is now a volunteer with the Peace Corps, working to reform the juvenile detention system in Peru. Matt Markgraf had a chance to speak with Eads while he was in town to learn more about his work in the Peace Corps, what living in Peru is like, his plans for the future, and advice for anyone interested in joining the program.

Illinois officials say the $7 million announced for efforts to move incarcerated non-violent offenders into community-based programs comes from the state's general revenue fund.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the money Sunday, saying community programs save money and are shown to produce better results in rehabilitating non-violent offenders.