In an effort to lighten the load at the Champaign County Jail, Judge Tom Difanis took a bold step earlier this year — quashing outstanding warrants for ordinance violations, some issued as long ago as 2001.
Staff writer Ben Zigterman pored over all 2,547 warrants that were set aside by the county's presiding judge. Here's what he found.
THROUGH THE YEARS
Unsurprisingly, most of the quashed warrants are from the past few years:
|Year||Number of warrants|
— Of those who had warrants quashed, 62 percent were black and 28 percent white. About two-thirds were men.
— The vast majority of the warrants were for people who are currently in their 20s and 30s. The overall range in age: 17 to 78.
— Most of those with outstanding warrants quashed were not repeat offenders. The person with the most had seven, but of the 2,308 with quashed warrants, only 190 had more than one.
The most common warrants set aside were for violations for cannabis possession. Here's how they break down: