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Pritzker says politics around Prisoner Review Board makes appointment difficult

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(The Center Square) – “Necessary changes” after the recent shakeup at the Illinois Prisoner Review Board include better domestic violence training, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Others want more oversight.

In his first public appearance since 11-year-old Jayden Perkins and 33-year-old Laterria Smith were stabbed by a recent parolee, Pritzker said review board members he appointed didn’t take into account all the information.

“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,” Pritzker said in Chicago at an unrelated event.

PRB members LeAnn Miller and Chairman Donald Shelton resigned last month after Perkins was killed and Smith was stabbed. Miller handled the parole for Crosetti Brand, who is accused in the stabbing.

Pritzker didn’t say when he’ll appoint replacements for Miller or Shelton. Appointments must be confirmed by the Illinois Senate within 60 session days.

“There have been people in the General Assembly, typically the opposite party, who have politicized this, so it makes it more difficult,” Pritzer, a Democrat, said.

State Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, agreed, politics needs to be removed.

“The real simple answer is the governor needs to appoint qualified people and not activists to the Prisoner Review Board,” Plummer told The Center Square Monday.

He said the PRB had operated without much controversy for years under different governors until Pritzker took office.

On X, formerly Twitter, Plummer chronicled the recent appointment history of various members, among other problems he witnessed with the PRB. He said there’s a pattern of the governor “manipulating” the process by appointing and reappointing members after deadlines pass.

“And that has left unqualified and dangerous people making reckless decisions for months and in some instances years at a time without being confirmed by the Senate,” Plummer said.

Plummer supports efforts to bring more stringent requirements for appointees to the board and more adherence to the appointment and confirmation process.