December 27, 2017
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced the formation of a commission to provide guidance and recommendations regarding pretrial reform in the Illinois criminal justice system.
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices will conduct a comprehensive review of the Illinois pretrial detention system and will make recommendations for change. This will include studying the fiscal impact of such changes on the county and state level. The Commission shall seek to ensure a fair, efficient, transparent, accountable and adequately-sourced system of pretrial services which includes the use of evidence-based practices and shall develop an operational structure that is guided by the National Institute of Corrections' Essential Elements of a High Functioning Pretrial System and Agency.
“Few problems facing the justice system are as urgent as the need to reform pretrial practices. 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."
"Critical to that effort is a thorough understanding of where the greatest problems lie, how those problems differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and how the applicable laws, regulations and rules of court can be changed to achieve a system of pretrial services that is truly fair, efficient, open, accountable and adequately resourced. We have created the Commission on Pretrial Practices to help give us that understanding. Building on pretrial reform initiatives begun last year, the Commission will draw on the expertise and insights of officials and individuals at every level of the criminal justice system and from every branch of government."
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.
"Four years ago, the Illinois Supreme Court began looking into the issue of pretrial services in Cook County. The Supreme Court convened all the Cook County stakeholders, co-chaired by retired Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Benjamin Miller and retired Federal Judge David Coar," Justice Burke said. "This stakeholders committee convened regularly for several years to develop a program of best practices for pretrial. As a culmination of their work, the idea for a statewide pretrial commission was developed by the Illinois Supreme Court and today it is being launched."
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.
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts will provide administrative support to the Commission.