The Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice sponsor a joint Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice Reform.
The Criminal Justice Committee aims for safe and cost-effective alternatives to incarceration. We accomplish these aims through research, advocacy, legislative proposals, technical assistance, and project management. Currently our work focuses on four project areas: Alternatives to Incarceration, Length of Stay in the Cook County Jail, Constitutional Issues, and the Administration of Justice.
The Criminal Justice Committee has played key roles in the following system improvements:
- Creation of an evidence-based court model for linking justice-involved individuals with substance use disorders to community-based services.
- Awarding of public defenders to all indigent felony defendants, regardless of whether they have posted bond.
- Elimination of video-conferenced bond hearings that were shown to drive up bail amounts for all offenders.
- Creation of a pretrial services division for early identification of defendants with substance abuse and mental health needs.
For more information, please contact Executive Director Malcolm Rich, at malcolmrich [at] chicagoappleseed [dot] org or (312) 988-6552.
Current & Past Projects
- Alternatives to Incarceration
- Illinois Supreme Court Proposal
- Street Level Diversion
- Justice & Health Initiative
- Length of Stay in the Cook County Jail
- Felony Review
- Reducing time to Preliminary Hearing
- Field Testing Drugs
- Evidence-Based Bail Decisions
- Court Watching Report
- Constitutional Issues
- 6th Amendment / Denial of Public Defenders
- Videoconference Bond Hearings
- Administration of Justice
- Solovy Revisited Commission
- Report on Felony Courts
Partners in Reform
Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, Inc. (TASC)
Chicago-Kent Law School
Northwestern U / Bluhm Legal Clinic
Circuit Court / Office of the Chief Judge / Criminal Division
Cook County SAO
Cook County PDO
Cook County JAC
Loevy & Loevy
The Reclaim Campaign
Bailing Out of A Medieval System (2005 White Paper by Tom Warkowski, former prosecutor and Jail Population Analyst for Winnebago County, IL)
Brennan Center for Justice – Justice Program
Center for Court Innovation
Cook County Sheriff Research
Cook County Specialty Courts Information Page
National Center on State Courts
National Institute of Justice
Pew Center on the States – Public Safety Performance Project
Urban Institute – Justice Policy Center
Vera Institute for Justice