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 →

Report on the Impact of Court Fines, Fees and Costs

The Collaboration for Justice—the joint social justice effort of Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the Chicago Council of Lawyers—has released a report on the impact and legality of court fines, fees and costs. The report details how the recent trend of shifting court costs to low-income and indigent defendants is creating a cycle of fines, fees and increased jail… Read more →

Cook County Drug Field Testing Pilot Program Second Quarterly Report

  Included here is the second quarterly report of the program study committee for the pilot drug field testing program created under 50 ILCS 737/1. The Cook County Pilot Drug Field-Testing Program was brought about to reduce the average time in jail between arrest and preliminary hearing for individuals arrested on drug charges. Advocacy for the project began with Chicago Appleseed’s… Read more →

Resign, Re-run, Avoid Retention

Three judges in southern Illinois’ 20th judicial circuit—Chief Judge John Baricevic and Circuit Judges Robert Haid and Robert LeChien—resigned in August in order to avoid retention elections. Judges Baricevic and LeChien each had narrow retention margins in their 2010 retention election, but Judge Haida has not yet faced a retention election. Each judge announced his intention, instead, to stand for… Read more →