Chicago Appleseed - Fund for Justice

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06.01.11 Immigration and Criminal Justice Reforms Needed

To our members, donors, and friends:

In this issue, we present editorials on two of our program areas -- immigration court reform and criminal justice reform. We support changes that will lead to a better justice system that is actually cheaper to operate. We believe that inexpensive reforms to immigration court administration can improve due process protections and day-to-day efficiencies, while generating huge cost savings for taxpayers. Implementing a Diversion Court system will lead to a substantial reduction in the jail population for non-violent offenders, which translates into saved lives, saved communities, and tens of millions of dollars every year.

We would also like to share with you a new feature of our blog -- Links of Interest. Each week, we present links to articles that discuss issues related to our program areas, including immigration court reform, criminal justice reform, judicial election and selection reform, and the administration of justice.

As always, we thank you for your support.

Sincerely, Malcolm Rich

Immigration Court Reform Serves Everyone's Interest

This Chicago Appleseed editorial was prepared by staff attorney Katy Welter

A recent two-part AP report on immigration court captured the system's stunning dysfunction: a "massive crisis" in which judges, immigrants, lawyers, and reformers alike are overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, and fed up. American taxpayers should be fed up, too. On our blog you can read what Chicago Appleseed is doing to improve efficiency and ensure Justice in the Immigration Court System.

Read More

Diversion Court a Must for Justice and Economy

This article originally appeared in the "Huffington Post"

Imagine a program that saves Cook County at least $20 million per year while reducing crime, incarceration, and unemployment. This is no fantasy - it's called diversion court, and Cook County can and should implement it right away.

Last fall, Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the Chicago Council of Lawyers published a comprehensive proposal for a Cook County Diversion Court.

Read More

Links of Interest

Elizabeth Monkus, staff attorney and project manager, Chicago Appleseed

Each week, staff and interns with the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice/Chicago Council of Lawyers collect links of interest that we have noticed this week for publication at the Appleseed blog.

Links come from traditional news media outlets (such as newspapers like the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor or Los Angeles Times and radio outlets like National Public Radio or Public Radio International), nontraditional news media outlets (such as the Huffington Post), public interest organizations (like the Brennan Center or the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights), as well as blogs by individuals and organizations. We organize the links by broad category as they relate to our ongoing projects: Criminal Court Reform, Immigration Court Reform, Judicial Elections, and Community Justice.

However, the stories we share cover much broader ground than our projects do. We consider the weekly round-up of things we have read to be an opportunity to advocate for change beyond the scope of our projects, as well as a chance to engage the social justice community in a variety of topics.

Read The Latest


On October 5, 2011, Chicago Appleseed and Chicago Council of Lawyers will hold their Annual Fundraising Luncheon. It will be held at the Fairmont Hotel. Honorees are Sen. Kwame Raoul, Cynthia Canary, and Professor John P. Heinz.

More details to follow soon.