Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Discussion of street gangs opens eyes to harsh reality

Jason Haynes painted a bleak picture Tuesday night at a University of Illinois Springfield alumni event at the UIS Peoria Center.

The lieutenant at the Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin talked about the prevalence of gangs inside the prison.

"Some of these guys look at going to prison as a rite of passage," said Haynes, who said gang membership is practically mandatory. "Some gangs call prison, college. They refer to their release date from 'college' as a graduation day."

"But it is what it is," said Tim Gleason, whose UIS criminal justice students attended the presentation that also included Detective Elizabeth Blair of the Peoria Police Department and Deputy Ronda Guyton of the Peoria County Sheriff's Department.

The alumni event was featured in a March 24, 2010, article in the Peoria Journal-Star.

Download a PDF of the article: