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 →

Ruling in Case Concerning Judicial Retention or Re-Election

In March, we wrote about a complaint filed with the State Board of Elections, concerning three judges in southern Illinois’ 20th judicial circuit—Chief Judge John Baricevic and Circuit Judges Robert Haid and Robert LeChien—who resigned in August and announced their intentions to run in the general election for their vacancies, rather than in retention elections for their seats. The judges… Read more →

The Job of Court Reform

Judge Sheryl Pethers has created a stir with her retirement announcement, which highlights aspects of her judicial service that left her concerned about the administration of the civil courts in Cook County. Chicago Appleseed has a long history of working with the courts, to improve deficiencies identified by stakeholders, as well as a firm belief that judges, administrators and other… Read more →