The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois on September 12, 1989 · Page 2
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · Page 2

Bloomington, Illinois
Issue Date:
Tuesday, September 12, 1989
Page 2
Start Free Trial

A2 THE PANTAGRAPH, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 1989 Thompson repeals unpopular premarital AIDS testing law By DON THOMPSON Springfield bureau chief SPRINGFIELD Gov. James R. Thompson yesterday ended Illinois' 21-month experiment with pre-marital AIDS testing, repealing a law that sent thousands of couples across state lines for their marriage licenses. Illinois was the only state in the nation . to require couples to be tested before they were married, following the repeal of a similar Louisiana law. The law drew criticism from public health officials across the country, from Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Bernard Turnock and the American Medical Association to U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. "It really served no useful purpose as a public health tool. The case-finding rate for the marriage test was astoundingly low," said Bob Keller, executive assistant of the McLean County Health Depart ment. "I think you'd find that 100 percent of , the health departments across the state have similar opinions on the issue." Since Jan. 1, 1988, more than 250,000 marriage tests turned up 52 cases where an individual tested positive for the AIDS-causing HIV virus. Of those, 39 were in the six-county Chicago area and only 11 cases were found in the remaining 96 downstate counties. Meanwhile, the state recorded a 22 percent decline in marriage licenses, with a corresponding increase in bordering states that did not require the AIDS test. Those getting married are heterosexual couples, a low-risk group, pointed out Illinois Public Health spokesman Tom Schafer. Assuming an average $35 cost per AIDS pre-marital test, the $8.75 million spent by engaged couples amounted to about $168,000 per positive result, he said. "We now have convincing experience that the disease is not prevalent among those getting married," Thompson said in signing the repeal, effective immediately. "I believe it is far better for us to encourage testing among people who are truly at risk of infection than to mandate testing for people who have never engaged in any activity which would cause their infection," Thompson said. He said AIDS transmission is better documented today than when he signed the testing law two years ago. The Public Health Department will begin distributing brochures to engaged couples informing them about sexually transmitted and other diseases. Schafer and Thompson urged couples, or anyone worried about AIDS exposure, to take advantage of the 47 free testing . and counseling centers around the state. One center is at the McLean County Public Health Department, 905 N. Main St. in Normal, and there are other cen--ters in surrounding cities like Peoria, Champaign, Decatur and Springfield. Statewide information is available by calling 1-800-AID-AIDS. Despite the low incidence of AIDS cases spotted by the pre-marital tests, 26 cases were picked up in the first nine months of this year the same number as for all of last year. State Sen. Adeline Geo-Karis, R-Zion, an outspoken opponent of the law's repeal, said that trend will continue. "I think we have loads of (undetected) AIDS cases. It was a protective measure," she said. Advocates of the mandatory testing argued the marriage tests would serve as an indicator of AIDS invasion into the low-risk heterosexual population, as well as allowing those testing positive to take steps to avoid infecting others. Ms. Geo-Karis said infected couples could still get married, but should avoid having children who would be likely to contract the virus. The repeal also covers testing for syphilis. Thompson said that test is no longer necessary because of effective pre-natal testing programs. Thompson also signed a series of other AIDS-related bills, including one creating the misdemeanor offense of "educational intimidation" to prevent the harassment of children with chronic infectious diseases who attend public school. Another bill creates the felony offense of "criminal transmission of HIV," with a prison sentence up to seven years for knowingly engaging in any act that can transmit the HIV virus to another person. Thompson signed a bill requiring the state Corrections Department to offer AIDS testing and counseling to sex and drug offenders, but vetoed bills that would have required the department to test all inmates on admission and again 15 days before their release, and would have required the department to segregate HIV-infected inmates. Illinois sees surge in prison population Rise pinned , to crackdown on drug traffic By TONY PARKER Pantagraph staff with AP reports Illinois, like most of the nation's 49 other states, saw a significant increase in its prison population during the first six months of 1989, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics. The state's prison population rose 7.1 percent during the first six months of this year, but most local prisons saw a slightly smaller increase due to the opening of new prisons in the state. The nation's prison population surged by 7.3 percent in the first six months of 1989, according to the bureau. Record pace That represents a national increase of 46,004 inmates, breaking the record not only for half-year increases but also surpassing all annual increases in the 64 years the statistics have been kept. With only about a tenth of those additional inmates being housed in federal prisons, states across the country have had to grapple with the bulk of the burgeoning population. . State corrections spokesman Nic Howell said Illinois' prison population is climbing at an average rate ! of 62 inmates per week, compared to just 26 inmates per week be- tween 1985 and 1988. '- Drug crackdown "The crackdown on drugs and drug offenders is what's causing the system to rise at such a rapid rate now," Howell said. Fueled by a 208 percent increase in the number of drug offenders v sentenced to prison, Illinois' inmate population jumped from . 21,081 at the beginning of the year to 22,576 on July 1 and 23,327 Friday. ; However, Howell said the number of inmates in the state's four maximum-security facilities has actually decreased from 7,882 to 7,849 since the department began double celling at other prisons in January and February. ; The decrease in inmates at maximum-security facilities, such as Pontiac Correctional Center, stems from a concerted effort by state 1 ' " II 'M if If ET : : " Prison population Chart shows state prison populations, organized by region, as compiled by Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics. The first column shows prison population on June 30, 1989, the second column shows the same population on Dec. 31, 1988. The third column shows the percentage change from December to June. Prisoners in federal institutions are not counted in the state totals, but are counted in a separate federal total listed at the end of the table. June 30, 1989 Dec. 31, 1988 change June 30, Dec. 31, 1989 1988 change NEW ENGLAND Total 108.206 99,180 9.1 Ga- 19.694 18,787 4.8 Conn. 9.474 8,005 18.4 Kv- 7'818 7-92 '-2 Maine' 1,385 1,277 - 8.5 L- 'BS 16,242 2.0 Mass. 7.261 8,757 8.5 Md. 15,080 14,276 5.6 N.H. 1,106 1,019 8.6 Miss-. 8'165 7'384 108 N.J. 17,857 16,936 5.4 N.C. ' 17,345 17,078 1.6 N.Y. 48,644 44,560 9.2 Okla. 11,273 10,448 7.9 Pa. 19,346 17,900 8.1 S.C. 15,242 13,888 9.7 R.I. 2,293 1,906 20.3 Tenn. 7,541 7,720 ' -2.3 Vt. 839 820 2.3 Texas 40,439 40,437 0.0 Va. 16,133 14,184 6.7 MIDWEST w Va , 466 , 455 0 8 Total 129,828 120,362 7.8 III. 22,578 21,081 7.1 WEST Ind. 12,449 11,406 9.1 To,al 134,193 124,191 8.1 Iowa 3,322 3,034 9.5 Alaska 2,596 2,588 0.3 Kans. 6,172 5,817 tf.l Aril- 12.758 12'095 55 Mich. 30,036 27,612 8.8 Cali'- 82,872 76,171 8.8 Minn. 2,953 2,799 5.5 Col- 6'260 5'76s 88 Mo. 13,437 12.176 10.4 Hawail 2'418 2'300 1 5-1 Neb. 2,290 2,156 6.2 . Idah0 1-759 1'58' 113 N.D. 456 466 -2.1 Mon'- 1'384 1'272 88 Ohio 28,332 28,462 7.1 Nev- 6-238 4'881 73 S.D. 1,223 1,020 19.9 N:M- 2'910 2'825 30 Wis. 6 582 6,353 3.6 0re- 6,400 5,991 6.8 Utah 2,220 1,961 13.2 SOUTH - Wash. 6,381 .5,818 9.7 Total 246,621 233,880 5.4 vVyo. 997 945 5.5 Ala. 13,556 12,610 7.5 Ark. 6,898 5,519 6.9 TOTALS Del. 3,451 3,197 7.9 S,a,es 618,847 577,633 7.1 D.C. 9,898 8,831 12.1 Federal 54,718 49,928 9.6 Fla. 38,059 34,732 9.6 U S; 673,565 627,561 7.3 prison officials to keep the population increase from having adverse effects on the most volatile prisons, he explained. "Obviously, because of the nature of the place, the volatility of the place, we've tried to keep the population down" at Pontiac, where two inmates and one employee have been murdered in slightly more than two years, he added. At Pontiac, the inmate population has increased from 1,837 at the beginning of the year to 1,861 Friday, Howell said. Other area prisons and their population in-' creases since" the first of the year are: Dwight, 721 to 770; Logan, 1,037. to 1,114; and Lincoln, 557 to 658. Pontiac and Dwight are nearly 400 inmates above their designed capacities, while Logan and Lincoln are between 100 and 200 inmates above their designed capacities. Although 11 new prisons have opened during the 1980s, Howell said the new space hasn't helped the older facilities much because of the growing population. In addition to providing monies for new prisons, the Illinois General Assembly recently appropriated $2.5 million for the establishment of a minimum-security female facility, Howell said. So far, the department has been unable to find a suitable location for the minimum-security facility, which would help overcrowding at the state's only all-female prison in Dwight. The increasing population has also caught the attention of a union representing prison employees, which is weighing a number of options to deal with the problem. "What we're trying to do is to get the legislature to put a cap on the number of inmates at each facility," said Debbie Lain, a spokeswoman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "The capping issue is one of several options we're looking at in terms of what might be done to ease the problems in our prisons," Ms. Lain said. The union is also looking at non-prison sentencing alternatives. Prosecution argues accused murderer's insanity plea a ploy By SCOTT RICHARDSON Pantagraph staff McLean County State's Attorney Charles Reynard pressed his opinion during a murder trial yesterday that a Kankakee-area man was legally sane and should be held accountable for stabbing a teen-ager to death and wounding another on board a Greyhound bus in Blooming-ton. Pierre Savoie, 26, told police the voice of God commanded him to kill on March 14. But Reynard thinks Savoie is exaggerating his mental problems to escape responsibility. The state's attorney called two Bloomington policemen to testify yesterday that Savoie could obey orders and cooperated with them during arrest procedures shortly after the unprovoked attack. Earlier testimony showed Savoie obeyed the bus driver before the violence when he was told to move to the rear of the vehicle to smoke. Judge Luther Dearborn, who will decide Savoie's guilt or innocence, ruled that people who are not psychiatric experts could testify about their opinions on Savoie's mental condition the day of the slaying. By using such evidence along with Savoie's statements of remorse, Reynard hopes to show Savoie was not out of touch with reality the day of the attack and that he should have been able to understand that stabbing people was wrong and conform his behavior to the law. Savoie's defense attorney, John Sch'wulst, must prove the opposite to show the Aroma Park man was legally insane at the time of the attack. Schwulst's case centers on testimony from Normal psychiatrist Dr. Robert Chapman, who says Savoie is psychotic and was when he stabbed Edward Smith, 18, of Webster Groves, Mo., and Paul Fog- Dr. Robert Chapman testified that Savoie told him he heard the voice of God order him to kill Smith and Fogleman because they were demons and that he would go to hell if he did not. leman, also 18, of St. Loifis, two friends on their way home from sightseeing in Chicago. Smith died. Fogleman survived. Savoie's only conversation with the young men prior to the attack was to ask for a cigarette. Dr. Chapman testified that Savoie told him he heard the voice of God order him to kill Smith and Fogleman because they were demons and that he would go to hell if he did not. Though Savoie's mental problems "substantially impaired" his ability to conform to the law or understand that his behavior was wrong, Dr. Chapman said Savoie's mental state would not prevent him from obeying directions or performing tasks. If found innocent by reason of insanity, Savoie would be committed to the Department of Mental Health for an indefinite time period. When cured, he would be released. If found guilty or guilty but mentally ill, Savoie could be sentenced to the Department of Corrections for up to 60 years. He would get psychiatric help only if prison officials think it is needed. Savoie was found insane in Arkansas five years ago when he was tried for trying to kill his cellmate after his arrest for running naked through a crowd watching a parade. Olympia board approves contract By KURT ERICKSON Pantagraph staff A multiyear contract will give Olympia officials the time needed to correct "previous inequities" in a salary schedule revamped during this year's collective bargaining process, says the superintendent of the largely rural district. The Olympia school board last night unanimously approved a three-year contract agreed to by the district's 80-plus teachers last week. - "The salary schedule wasn't something we could correct in one year," said Superintendent Jack Bowman. Under the new schedule, base pay for teachers will rise from $16,800 this year to $18,700 in the 1991-92 school year. According to Bowman, the base salary was low, while those in the higher salary range were "competitive." ; "It will help us down the road when we are employing new teachers," he said. Currently, 40 percent of the district's teachers fall into the higher range of salaries. : Other issues hammered out during a six-hour-long federally mediated bargaining session last week include health insurance, a change in retirement packages and additional pay for extracurricular activity sponsors. ' Olympia board approves 1989-90 budget Page A4 All told, the district's cost for salaries increased 6 percent this year under the new contract. It will increase another 7 percent in 1990- 91 and increase 5 percent in 1991- 92. "The thing to remember is that not everyone is going to get a 6 percent raise," Bowman said. For instance, the salary for a teacher with 17 years' experience, a master's degree and more than 30 hours of credit toward a doctorate is $34,532 this year, while in the 1991-92 school year it will be $34,705. Negotiations this year, marked by the presence of a federal mediator," were described by the administrator as "longer and more intense because of the salary schedule reconstruction." Bowman said collective bargaining in the district had not been ''historically this long." "It had gotten to the point where everyone recognized it had to be done," he said. "We're pleased with the agreement we worked out," Bowman added. "We feel it's fair and will help us reach the goals both the administration and the teachers are trying to accomplish." The temporary state income-tax increase was not as large a factor as it could have been during contract talks, Bowman acknowledged. "Sure, it was in everyone's mind, but we began work on the schedule back in December before it was even an issue in the Legislature." According to Bowman, the school board agreed to an increased involvement in its share of teacher's health insurance premiums ' and raised the amount coaches and sponsors of other extracurricular activities receive. The Pantagraph Published daily and Sunday by Evergreen Communications Inc., 301 W. Washington St., Bloomington, IL 61701. Second-class postage paid at Bloomington, IL (USPS) 144760) TELEPHONE (309) 829-9411 Home delivery Classified ads 27-7323 128-6633 NEWSROOM Jan Denni Metre 1 Business Features Sports Farm Copy Preview Photo ADVERTISING Display CIRCULATION PRODUCTION is, asst. man. edNews Mark Pickering, ed. Steve Gleason, ed. Bryan Bloodworth, ed. Chris Anderson, ed. Vi Gilmore, ed. James Keeran, ed. Marc Featherly Mary Keogh, ad. dir John Hoffman, mgr. Bill Hertter, mgr. Mike O'Connor, mgr. CARRIER2 WKS Daily & Sundays - Sunday only Call Circulation for mailmotor route rates Ml--;. W: V-- At ssS&s Xfc9 , vsr lvi

Clipped articles people have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 22,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Pantagraph
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free