Introducing Principles for Bail Reform in Cook County

Principles of Bail Reform in Cook County The pretrial detention system in Cook County needs reform. Cook County Jail incarcerates approximately 7,500 people per day. An additional 2,000 people are under the Sheriff’s supervision through electronic monitoring. More than 90% of the people detained are pretrial and thus presumed innocent—a considerably higher rate than the national rate of 67%. Approximately… Read more →

Youth Opportunity and Fairness Act

The Youth Opportunity and Fairness Act (HB 3817/SB 2021) has been introduced in the Illinois Legislature. The Act both strengthens confidentiality of juvenile records while improving the processes for expunging juvenile records. The Act would bring Illinois’ laws into line with the American Bar Association’s model guidelines on youth records. Under the Youth Opportunity and Fairness Act, courts would automatically… Read more →

Appellate Court Orders Hearings Before Bond Money is Taken, Review of Fines, Fees, and Costs

Last month, the Appellate Court of Illinois in the First District handed down a decision in Illinois v. Glass that reinforces the urgent need for reform regarding some of the primary avenue through which Illinois courts collect money from criminal defendants. In a ruling delivered by Justice Mikva, the Court reiterated that a defendant’s posted bond money cannot be used… Read more →

New Court Policy to Provide Public Defenders in Police Stations

Last week, the Cook County Court took an important step forward in ensuring Chicagoans arrested by CPD are able to exercise their constitutional right to an attorney. Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans signed General Administrative Order No. 2017-01 that enables people in the custody of Chicago Police Department to have access to an attorney free of charge at police… Read more →

Changing the Rules on Unpublished Opinions

In early February, Rick Tulsky reported on a dissenting opinion by Illinois Appellate Court Justice Hyman, criticizing the court rules concerning publication of opinions. Appellate and Supreme Court opinions are published when the majority of the court decide they should be published, but non-published opinions may not generally be cited by attorneys for use in future cases.  Therefore, non-published opinions don’t affect the larger… Read more →