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Illinois Supreme Court Forms Commission to Reform Pretrial Practices

The Illinois Supreme Court launched its Commission on Pretrial Practices today to conduct a comprehensive review of Illinois' pretrial detention system and provide guidance and recommendations for change.

Building on pretrial reform initiatives that began last year, the Commission will gain an understanding of where the greatest problems lie; how the problems vary by jurisdiction; and how laws, regulations, and rules can be changed to ensure pretrial services are fair, efficient, transparent, accountable, and adequately resourced. 

Illinois' pretrial practices are one of the greatest problems facing the state's justice system. "Pretrial detention costs now consume a substantial portion of the total resources expended by the justice system in our country. The time has come to take a hard look at whether that investment makes sense," Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier said. "Mindful of these social and financial costs, the Illinois Supreme Court has committed itself to enacting sensible and practical reforms to the pretrial process to ensure that pretrial incarceration is reserved for cases in which the threat to public safety truly warrants it."

The idea of forming a statewide pretrial commission began four years ago when the supreme court began looking into the issue of pretrial services in Cook County by creating a committee of key stakeholders in the county. This stakeholders committee, chaired by Hon. Benjamin Miller, retired Illinois Supreme Court chief justice, and Hon. David Coar, retired federal judge, met for several years to develop a program of best practices.

The following individuals have been appointed as members of the Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices:

  • Thomas Dart - Sheriff, Cook County
  • Hon. Thomas M. Donnelly - Chair, Illinois Judicial College Board of Trustees
  • Hon. Timothy C. Evans - Chief Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County

  • Hon. James P. Flannery, Jr. - Chair, Legislative Committee of the Illinois Supreme Court

  • Rodger Heaton - Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor

  • Hon. Donald C. Hudson - Appellate Justice, Second Appellate District

  • Hon. David A. Hylla- Chair, Conference of Chief Circuit Judges

  • Hon. Ronald M. Jacobson - Chair, Illinois Judicial Conference Committee on Criminal

  • Justice John Maki - Executive Director, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority

  • Hon. Robbin J. Stuckert - Chief Judge, 23rd Judicial Circuit

  • Hon. Thomas J. Tedeschi - Chief Judge, Second Judicial Circuit

The Honorable Robbin J. Stuckert has been appointed chairperson of the Commission and Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke has been appointed as Supreme Court liaison to the Commission.

Additional members of the Commission will include one member appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one member appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, one member appointed by the Senate president, one member appointed by the Senate minority leader, and one member appointed by the Illinois attorney general to represent the interests of victims of crime and domestic violence.

The Commission will also include the president, or his or her designee, of the following organizations: The Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association, the Office of the Illinois State's Attorney Appellate Prosecutor, the Association of Court Clerks, the Illinois Public Defender Association, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Sheriffs Association, and the Illinois Association of County Officials. The Executive Director, or his or her designee, of The Alumni Association, a Chicago-based non- profit organization providing peer support and services to incarcerated and formerly-incarcerated individuals will also be on the Commission.

Posted on December 21, 2017 by Sara Anderson
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