Cook County operates the largest consolidated court system in the world. In addition, we run the largest jail in the nation.
The resources of the County should be utilized to insure that the court system operates in a fair and efficient manner. The State of Illinois must pay for more of the costs of running the largest state court system. County residents should not have to pay the highest court fees in the state and even higher taxes to obtain justice.
To read an overview about civil juries at the Daley center written by Judge Joseph D. Panarese click here
Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice reports
The Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice has studied the County’s court system. Their 2007 report on felony court can be found here (click here for the executive summary). In September, 2009, they issued recommendations for reforming the court’s criminal division.
Foreclosure Mediation Program
Following the lead of the County Board in approving a Mortgage Mediation and Outreach Program, the Circuit Court of Cook County issued and Order signed by Judge Dorothy Kinnaird to implement the program, which will provide free assistance to Cook County homeowners facing foreclosure. Homeowners who received a foreclosure summons should call the toll-free help line at (877) 895-2444.
- Mortgage Foreclosure Program.
- More information on the program is available here.
- Click here for the press release from Chief Judge Timothy Evans regarding the program.
- Click here for a sample foreclosure summons.
- Click here for a list of IHDA housing agencies.
Judge Kinnaird provides periodic updates to the County Board.
- View September, 2010 update here.
- View July, 2010 update here.
Cook County Jail
Operations at the jail are monitored under the 1982 Duran Consent Decree by the U.S. District Court. The Cook County Sheriff must meet the mandates of this decree, ensuring adequate staffing of the facility as well as standards for public, staff and inmate safety and welfare. As a Cook County Commissioner, I am committed to complete compliance with each provision of the decree.
To read Dr. David E. Olson's report An Examination of Admissions, Discharges & the Population of the Cook County Jail, 2012 click here
Dr. Olson is a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Loyola University, Chicago.
Juvenile Temporary Detention Center
The Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) needs to ensure that the children it houses are kept safe. The JTDC is under a court decree in the Doe case to provide a healthy and safe environment. Many problems exist in this operation. Continued court monitoring is necessary to improve this situation.
Please see the latest report of the John Howard Association on the JTDC. This report is disappointing since The Board had been assured that many of the issues raised had been corrected. As the link to both the Tribune and Defender Stories on this report indicate, we have a long way to go before we can be proud of the work at the JTDC. I will continue to push for reforms.
The JTDC is now under the office of the Chief Judge:
1100 S. Hamilton Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60612
Leonard Dixon - Superintendent
Read related documents & articles:
- New Illinois laws aim to keep teens out of prison system December 31, 2015
- New Beginning for Cook County Juvenile temporary Detention Center WTTW Chicago Tonight October 29, 2015.
- Chicago Tribune editorial: Judge Holderman… (11/17/09)
- Two Decades of JDAI: From Demonstration Project to National Standard from the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative and the Anne E. Casey Foundation
- March 28, 2007 report from the John Howard Association
- Chicago Bar Association Blue Ribbon Committee Report (1/11/07)
- Stroger's wise move (Tribune 1/12/07)
- Modified Implementation Plan (1/3/07)
- Juvenile center reforms detailed (Chicago Tribune, 1/9/07)
- Plan for Fixing Jail Ready (Sun-Times, 1/9/07)
- Juvenile center boss rips reform report (Chicago Tribune, 11/30/06)
- Juvenile center not cooperating: monitor (Sun-Times, 11/21/06)
- Friction at Youth Center Reported (Chicago Tribune, 11/21/06)
- Juvenile center chided on reform (Chicago Tribune, 10/18/06)
- New report indicate county juvenile detention center flawe (Chicago Defender, 10/19/06)
- John Howard Association report
For nearly thirty years, I have fought for sensible gun laws. Whether it was against the NRA or legislative leaders, I fought to pass laws to keep guns off our streets.
In July 2013, the Cook County board tightened its gun safety legislation. We increased the safety provisions that directly impact children: we voted to ban the sale of guns to people under 21 and made restrictions on how people with children at home store their ammunition. We also added additional firearms to the list of banned assault weapons. Read the ordinance here
Also in July 2013, Illinois lawmakers overrode Governor Pat Quinn's veto of concealed carry legislation. However, it will likely be 2014 before all of the procedures are in place that will regulate who may carry handguns in public.
Court upholds right of County to enact gun control laws
On August 19, 2009, the Illinois Appellate court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the Cook County Blair Holt Assault Weapons Ban. Click here to read my statement and click here to read the court’s opinion.
Click here to read the Circuit Court’s opinion upholding the right of Cook County to enact gun control.
Suffredin Unveils Ordinance to Rein in Gun Shops
Chicago Public Schools and Gun Violence
Attached is the pledge that was part of the back to school packets given to all CPS students on the first day of school.
Military Style Assault Weapons Ban Referendum on 11-7-06 Ballot
In order to protect our children and communities, I sponsored the attached resolution to place the following question on the November 7, 2006 Ballot:
“For the health and safety of children and the entire community, shall the State of Illinois enact a comprehensive ban on the manufacture, sale, delivery and possession of military-style assault weapons and .50 caliber rifles?”
I am happy to report that the referendum received over 84% approval.
Red Light Cameras
Commissioner Suffredin sponsors ordinance that gives local cities and villages a say in any red light camera. The measure passed June 15, 2010. The ordinance allows any municipality to "opt-out" of the County's pilot red light camera program.