Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



NEW ILLINOIS LAW ENDS $120 FEE TO CLEAR FALSE CRIMINAL RECORDS IN COOK COUNTY

Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy
by Vincent Caruso

A bill signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker will renew a pilot program in Cook County that waives fees for the expungement or sealing of criminal records for those who have been wrongfully accused of a crime.

Cook County residents wrongfully convicted or accused of a crime will no longer have to pay just to remove the blot on their name.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 482 into law Aug. 9, which renews a pilot program in Cook County that waives the $120 fee required to expunge or seal criminal records for those who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime. The bill earned strong bipartisan support in the Statehouse, sailingunanimously through both the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives.

The new law, carried through the General Assembly by state Sen. Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago, and state Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago, applies to those who have either been acquitted, released from incarceration without charges or had their charges dismissed, reversed, or vacated.

The fee waiver program is effective immediately and extends through Dec. 31, 2020. The pilot originally ran in Cook County from January 2017 to Jan. 1, 2019.

Nearly 20% of arrestees in Cook County jail ultimately have their charges dropped, according to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office. And Cook County led the nation in exonerations of wrongfully incarcerated residents in 2013 and 2014 reports by the National Registry of Exonerations, or NRE.

NRE’s database shows more than 200 inmates have been exonerated in Cook County since 2011. The most commonly cited factors contributing to the wrongful incarceration of those individuals are “perjury or false accusation” and “official misconduct.” In NRE’s 2014 report, Cook County topped the nation in false confessions.

In 2019 alone, nearly 20 people have so far been exonerated in Cook County. James Gibson, who was convicted in 1991, served the longest sentence among those exonerated this year. Gibson was sentenced to life without parole on two counts of first-degree murder.

A criminal record can haunt someone long after they’ve paid their debt to society – and often for life. But for a person carrying that burden due to a wrongful arrest or conviction, paying a fee to restore his or her name is another unjust penalty. Correcting an error of the criminal justice system should not require a fee paid by the victim of that error.

Whether due to mistakes or misconduct, wrongful arrests are not limited to one county, and they will not disappear when the waiver program is set to expire in 2021. Illinois leaders should make these reforms permanent, and expand them beyond just Cook County.



Recent Headlines

Opportunity for small developers, and distressed neighborhoods: The Cook County Land Bank Authority celebrates 500th property rehab
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Housing protection advances for those with past convictions — prompting congratulations, concerns
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Fritz Kaegi: Benefits of property tax assessment reform are showing in Cook County
Friday, November 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County forest preserve picnic, camping permits for 2020 season to go on sale Nov. 15
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s public defender plans to ask Illinois Supreme Court to reverse decision that permits holding preteens in custody despite county ordinance
Monday, November 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Clerk Yarbrough touts ‘method to her madness,’ says hiring criticism ‘is purely personal’
Saturday, November 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Nonprofit hospitals forced to defend hundreds of millions in property tax breaks
Friday, November 08, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Land Bank must serve neighborhoods, not City Hall insiders
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

After judge’s dismissal, Skokie appeals federal lawsuit over Evanston water rates
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 teens in DCFS care were shackled and handcuffed during drive from a youth shelter: ‘Totally unacceptable,’ agency says
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The lifelong damage we do in Cook County when we jail kids as young as 10
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Unfair assessments lawsuit dismissed after assessor makes changes — full reform called a ‘years-long process’
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Watch out, Cook County land bank. The public could foreclose — on you.
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles raises property tax about $21 per average household
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Pioneer Press

Nov. 15 is Opening Day for Forest Preserves of Cook County Picnic and Special Event Permit Sales, 2020 Camping Reservations
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

$8M grant program aims to expand Cook County animal shelter space
Tuesday, November 05, 2019
ABC EyeWitness News

Even as Illinois court permits detaining pre-teens, across U.S. fewer youth being held
Monday, November 04, 2019
Injustice Watch

Cook County OK’d insider deal for Ald. Carrie Austin’s top aide
Monday, November 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A progressive measure intended to keep preteens out of Cook County jails was effectively struck down by an appellate court
Monday, November 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health CEO Calls on Other Hospitals to Increase Charity Care
Friday, November 01, 2019
WTTW News

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP