Category Archives: State of Illinois News & Reports

News brief: New Illinois Bill on Marijuana Possession

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by Mary C. Piemonte

Changing tactics in their efforts with the war on drugs in the State of Illinois that will also reduce the overcrowding jail and prison crisis, lawmakers introduced a fairly new bill that prescribes to the decriminalization for possession of small amounts of marijuana resulting in misdemeanors and fines instead of permanent criminal records and long-term incarcerations.

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New Police Reform Legislation Awaits Governor Rauner’s Approval

News brief: by Mary C. Piemonte

Rep. Elgie Sims (D - Chicago), joined by members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus discusses the recently passed body camera and police reform legislation

Rep. Elgie Sims (D – Chicago), joined by members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus discusses the recently passed body camera and police reform legislation. Photo courtesy of Rep. Sims

In an attempt to restore the broken trust of communities of color against police officers in the state of Illinois, Rep. Elgie R. Sims Jr (D-Chicago) recently spear-headed some legislation that will update policing regulations to avoid more tragedies. Continue reading

Cook County Receives MacArthur Grant to Reduce Jail Population

by Mary C. Piemonte

Chief Cook County Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle with Judge George Leighton in June 2012. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Chief Cook County Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans (right) and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle with Judge George Leighton in June 2012. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Although there is growing attention to the large number of Americans confined in state and federal prisons nationally, much  less attention has been paid to local jails.

A large percentage of the inmate population of both sentenced offenders and pretrial detainees are in jail for nonviolent offenses such as traffic, property, drug or public order violations.

And low-income individuals and communities of color across the nation disproportionately experience the negative consequences of incarceration, according to Cook County public officials in the criminal justice system.

However, Cook County was one of 20 jurisdictions from 45 states selected on May 27, 2015, to receive a $150,000 planning grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “to reduce the number of low level nonviolent offenders incarcerated in the Cook County Jail.”

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Officials Launch Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign

by Mary C. Piemonte

Pictured from Left to Right: State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, DCFS HT Program Manager Stacy Sloan, DCFS Acting Director Bobbie Gregg, FBI Special Agent Ricardo Pagan, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Photo courtesy of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Pictured from left to right: Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, DCFS HT Program Manager Stacy Sloan, DCFS Acting Director Bobbie Gregg, FBI Special Agent Ricardo Pagan and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Photo courtesy of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office recently launched an “Our Children Are Not for Sale” awareness campaign asking the public to alert law enforcement and DCFS when they believe a child is a victim of human trafficking.

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IL. Senate President Cullerton on Sentencing Criminals

by Mary C. Piemonte

Raw footage of Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton (6th) talking about the role of sentencing criminals, during  “A Symposium on Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform” in the state at the Union League Club of Chicago on March 31, 2014.

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