Leighton Criminal Courts Building

The ACT Initiative Is Bringing Best Practices to Cook County’s Criminal Courts

In 2013, Chicago Appleseed helped the Circuit Court of Cook County design and establish the Access to Community Treatment (ACT) Court, an Adult Redeploy Illinois program. Like all ARI initiatives, the ACT Court was designed to divert people charged with nonviolent crimes from the Illinois prison system. Since the ACT Court formally launched in the spring of 2014, Appleseed has… Read more →

Chicago Council of Lawyers Releases Statement on Police Accountability Report

In April 2016, the Police Accountability Task Force issued their 190-page report: Recommendations for Reform: Restoring Trust between the Chicago Police and the Communities They Serve. The Report addresses many subjects, ranging from how to improve police-community relations to how to respond to persons with mental health problems. Our partner in the Collaboration for Justice, the Chicago Council of Lawyers… Read more →

Drug Field-Testing As Criminal Justice Reform: Responding to Criticisms in Context

Earlier this month, both The New York Times and The Marshall Project ran excellent stories on how 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, “How a $2 Roadside Drug Test Sends Innocent People to Jail” and “Jolly… Read more →

Letter to the Editor of the Daily Law Bulletin

Our letter to the editor which ran in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on August 19, 2016 is reproduced below. Court costs, fines, fees: New approach needed now By Steven E. Art, Matthew McClellan Daniels, Erika M. Washington and Malcolm C. Rich The Collaboration for Justice is the joint social justice effort of Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the… Read more →

Advocates Call for an End to the Presumptive Shackling of Juveniles in Court

The Illinois Justice Project has submitted a proposed proposed rule to the state Supreme Court Rules Committee to reform the practice of shackling children appearing in juvenile court. The Committee referred the proposed rule to the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Judicial Conference in order to study and review the matter. In July, the Rules Committee heard testimony in favor… Read more →