Candidate profile: Ronald Williams

Ronald N. Williams

Age: 74

Immediate family members: Mary Beth Williams ( Spouse )

Occupation: US Army & Madison County Public Defender

Party affiliation: Republican

Previous elected positions: None

Why are you running for this office?

Madison County ranks as a more dangerous community than surrounding counties and two of the most violent cities in Illinois are in Madison County. I know how to fix this and can do ti in less than two years.

What do you believe qualifies you to be state’s attorney?

I have defended over 2,500 felony and 6,000 juvenile cases and that is how you learn to administer criminal justice.

What would be your top priority upon being elected or re-elected?

To reduce violent crime in the western parts of Madison County.

As state’s attorney, how would you address the ongoing issue of heroin trafficking and abuse?

I will stop giving probation to dealers and advocate in county government for a long term treatment facility for users to be opened locally.

There has been some discussion in this race about the value of plea bargains vs. going to trial on major felonies. How do you feel these cases should best be handled?

They sould be handled as the legislature intended, which is to say that if a person commits agravated battery, he should be sentenced for that offense. He should not be given a lighter sentence for simple battery. The current sentencing scheme is akin to catch and release and that leads to recidivist behavior. I favor using the IDOC to educate, train, and rehab offenders. It is wrong to warehouse offenders in county jails that are not meant to provide rehab services. About 17 percent of Madison County’s violent crime is committed by people would should have been in prison when their crime was committed. That is an easy fix.

Why should the voters elect you?

Because I have experience both as a prosecutor and defense counsel, going back to my days in the Army. I understand how the system works and where it fails. I will reduce the jail population. I will remove politics from the office and will give sound legal advice to other county officials.