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Chicago Council of Lawyers - News

Chicago Appleseed - Fund for Justice

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Annual Luncheon October 1
September 08, 2014

Annual luncheon details

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Forum on Chicago Police Accountability
September 08, 2014

Forum on Chicago Police Accountability, Tuesday September 30, 2014 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

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A New Mandatory Minimum for Gun Crime Will Cause Further Pre-Trial Delay And Jail Overcrowding
October 24, 2013

With the support of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, HB2265 / SB 1342 was recently introduced to the Illinois General Assembly with the goal of imposing a mandatory three-year minimum prison sentence for people convicted of illegal use of a weapon. Our friends at the John Howard Association—in recent articles on the Huffington Post and in the Chicago Tribune—have responded forcefully to Emmanuel’s proposal, laying out how new mandatory minimums will undermine efforts at crime control and only increase crime in our streets. We at the Collaboration for Justice (Chicago Council of Lawyers and Chicago Appleseed) add our voice in opposition to Emmanuel’s proposal and focus on another aspect of the proposal’s impact: a new mandatory minimum will exacerbate pre-trial delays by introducing more disorder and uncertainty in our criminal justice system.

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CCL Statement in Support of Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act.
May 22, 2013

The Chicago Council of Lawyers supports the “Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act,” Senate Bill 1587 Engrossed. Surveillance by drones can serve useful purposes but because they are small, quiet, highly maneuverable and can be deployed in secret, they are potential threats to privacy. The Bill does a good job of balancing those competing interests.

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Cook County Deprives Defendants of a Public Defense
May 01, 2013

Chicago, IL, May 1, 2013 — In courtrooms across Cook County, a Chicago Appleseed investigation has confirmed, defendants are being denied a public defense solely because they have posted bond to get out of jail. The denials come without a constitutionally required hearing on the defendant’s finances. In some cases, indigent defendants who post bond and do receive a public defense then have their bond money withheld to reimburse the Public Defender’s Office.

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Illinois & Cook County Primary Judicial Election Results
March 21, 2012

As of today, our website received 518,000 hits since the beginning of this judicial evaluation season with about 17,000 unique visitors. This is exciting evidence of a concerned electorate! All in all, just TWO “Not Qualified” candidates running in a contest race were elected to the bench. Learn more about Illinois and Cook County Judicial Election Results at our blog.

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Blog: Smart Criminal Justice Policies Gain Momentum in Chicago, Cook County
November 03, 2011

County and City officials have taken bold yet prudent steps toward sensible, cost-effective public safety policies. The County has expanded use of electronic monitoring and the City is now considering issuing a fine in lieu of arrest for marijuana possession-a move many suburbs have already made. Both plans aim to relieve the mounting fiscal, political, and humanitarian costs imposed by crowded jails and overburdened police and courts. They also represent incremental steps toward fundamental, systemic reform.

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Anonymity and Integrity in Researching Judicial Performance
November 01, 2011

Recently, Chicago Appleseed was asked about unsolicited anonymous comments about judicial retention candidates and whether they play a role in the data collection for the Judicial Performance Commission of Cook County's (the JPC) evaluations. The integrity of our data is paramount and we strive to use only valid sources of feedback. Nonetheless, the most valuable commentary we can collect from survey respondents is candid, honest commentary. In our data collection effort, therefore, we balance the privacy needs of data sources against our need to verify their responses. You can read this entire statement over at our blog.

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Community-Involved Efforts Lead to Record CPS Attendance Level
September 12, 2011

Chicago Public Schools enjoyed a 94.7% attendance rate on the district's first day of school. The turnout this Tuesday marks a four-year high, and a jump from 92.9% last year. CPS attributes the turnout largely to coordinated efforts among the schools, community organizations, and families. One of the main causes of poor first-day attendance is [...] Read more about this over at our blog.

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CPS Principal Pay-for-Performance Plan Opens the Door for Community Schools
August 22, 2011

Merit pay is a notoriously tricky business. Reward short-term returns and you hang the future out to dry. Or, as we've seen in a growing number of school districts across the country, you run the risk of teachers and administrators taking shortcuts (ie, cheating) to grab the brass ring. Mayor Emmanuel has proposed an incentive [...]

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