One of our core projects has been to encourage safe and cost-effective alternatives to incarceration. Arguing in the interests of civil rights, economy, and common sense, we have successfully advocated for several key systemic improvements. Successes include: elimination of videoconferenced bond hearings that were shown to drive up bail amounts for all offenders, creation of a pretrial services division for early identification of defendants with substance abuse and mental health needs, and an increase in the number of judges available to handle diversion cases in the criminal justice system. Currently, we are researching and advocating for strategies to make the administration of justice in Cook County more economical, effective, and just.

 

Publications

CAFFJ Legislation Proposal Reduce Time to Preliminary Hearings

Pre-Trial Delay and Length of Stay in Cook County Jail  &  Executive Summary (2013)

Illinois Supreme Court Proposal:  Going to Scale: Coordinating Criminal Justice Reform in Cook County (2013)

Bailing Out of A Medieval System (2005 White Paper by Tom Warkowski, former prosecutor and Jail Population Analyst for Winnebago County, IL)

Policy Brief: Community Courts in Cook County, Part I (2013)

Policy Brief: Community Courts in Cook County, Part II  (2013)

Public Testimony on Illinois Supreme Court Proposal 12-01 (P.R. 0196) -- Defendant's Appearance by Videoconference (2012)

Policy Brief: Use of Data in Criminal Court Performance Measurement (2012)

Policy Brief: Early Criminal Case Assessment in Urban Jurisdictions (2012)

Report: Strategies to Enhance and Coordinate Cook County Diversion Programs (2012)

Executive Summary: Strategies to Enhance and Coordinate Cook County Diversion Programs (2012)

Court Watching Report: Cook County Central Bond Court (2011)

Report: Cook County Diversion Court: Proposal and Implementation Plan (2010)

A Report on Chicago's Felony Courts (2007)

A Report on Chicago's Felony Courts - Executive Summary (2007)

 

Recommended Resources

Brennan Center for Justice - Justice Program
Center for Court Innovation
Cook County Sheriff Research
Cook County Specialty Courts Information Page
National Center on State Courts
National Institute of Justice
Pew Center on the States - Public Safety Performance Project
Urban Institute - Justice Policy Center
Vera Institute for Justice