Chicago Appleseed - Fund for Justice

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Chicago Appleseed promotes social justice and government effectiveness by identifying injustice in our community, investigating its causes and proposing effective solutions.

Taskforce, Including Preckwinkle, Evans, and Alvarez, Visits Washington D.C. to Review Pretrial System; and a Warning About the Expanded Use of Electronic MonitoringStakeholder Trip and Continuing Meetings on Bond Court Reform Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a release describing the recent two-day trip, arranged by the Illinois Supreme Court, for the heads of the relevant Cook County agencies to review and glean the benefits of Washington D.C.’s and Montgomery County, Maryland’s pretrial systems. This trip follows the Supreme Court’s March analysis of the pretrial [more]
Court Recording and Access to JusticeLike other courts across the nation, Cook County is seeing increasing numbers of self-represented parties in the courts. At the same time that litigants are finding it harder to pay for legal services, Cook County has a projected budget deficit of $152 million for 2014, which has resulted in a reduction in the number of court reporters provided in Cook [more]
Innovations in Family CourtsThe Domestic Relations Division of the Cook County Court is carefully examining ways to make some significant changes which will improve the level of service for everyone needing to establish parentage of a child, get child support for a child or come to a shared agreement for parenting.  Chicago Appleseed has been involved in the task force and we’ve been [more]
Courts and Public Accountability“Judge Sullivan, Take Note”, an editorial in the Chicago Tribune Monday, June 9th, reminds us that the courtrooms do not belong to the judges, they belong to the people. The editorial references two recent steps by courts administrators to make Illinois’ courts more open and transparent: the Illinois Supreme Court's decision to allow cameras in courtrooms and Cook County Chief [more]
Poor Defendants and Access to JusticeSubmitted by Aswan Taylor, Chicago Appleseed Intern Last year, a Chicago Appleseed investigation found that Cook County courts were routinely denying defendants a public defense, or ordering reimbursement for public defenders’ services, simply because the defendant had posted bond. As noted in May, 2013, the practice essentially forces defendants to choose between pre-trial release and a public defense without a required indigence [more]
Chicago Appleseed/Reclaim Campaign Bill HB 2897 (field testing bill) has just passed in the Illinois Senate  HB 2897, which establishes a pilot drug field-testing program for Cook County in order to shorten the length of time drug defendants are held in jail before their preliminary hearings, has just passed the Illinois Senate unanimously, 55-0, and is heading to the House for concurrence. The bill was developed based off of a policy brief from Chicago Appleseed noting the [more]