Appleseed Staffer Attends Chicago Movement Lawyering Retreat

On July 15th and 16th, I was lucky enough to participate in a “Movement Lawyering Retreat” for Chicago attorneys and activists. The retreat was a small collection of lawyers and organizers brought together by two dedicated individuals: Candace Moore and Quinn Rallins. Their idea is to ultimately build a network of legal support for the Movement for Black Lives in Chicago… Read more →

ACS Report on Judicial Diversity

The American Constitution Society recently released a report, The Gavel Gap, on the demographics of state court judges, highlighting the discrepancies among the demographics of our communities, law school graduates, and judges on the bench. Overall, the report finds that courts are not representative of neither our communities generally nor the legal community specifically. As the Brennan Center puts it,… Read more →

Field Testing in Drug Arrests

Earlier this month, both The New York Times and The Marshall Project ran excellent stories on how a roadside field tests for drugs can return false positives that send innocent people to jail or even cause them to plead guilty when they did not possess drugs. The articles highlighted alarming uses of field tests in Florida and Texas, where people… Read more →

Chicago Appleseed at NACM 2016 presenting on Criminal Justice Reform

At this year’s National Association of Case Management (NACM) conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (July 10-14) Ali Abid, Senior Criminal Justice Policy Analyst at Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and Peter Coolsen, Court Administrator for the Criminal Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County are presenting “Administering the Courts in a Time of Criminal Justice Reform.” The presentation explores concepts… Read more →

New Book Looks at Racial Injustice in the Cook County Courts

On May 11th, Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve spoke at University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration about her new book, Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court. (Stanford Law Books). Before a packed auditorium, Van Cleve, a Temple University criminal justice professor, argued that racism is pervasive throughout the Cook County courts. She described a system… Read more →