Ramping Up Support for Reform

From  the Desk of John McLees:

The attached revised summary contains information about:

  • Several events in May to support organizations devoted to criminal justice reform in Illinois,
  • important new reports and books on incarceration and its impact and on reforming the prosecutorial function, and
  • Progress toward re-imagining young adult justice in in Illinois, toward enacting a just housing ordinance in Cook County, and toward statewide consideration of reforms in pretrial procedures, including reforms in the use of money bail.

There are also important opportunities for advocacy:

  • to contact your representatives in the Illinois House and Senate now to ask for their votes to enact justice reforms that have been approved by the other chamber of the legislature, and
  • to ramp up our support of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her reform agenda.

Please pay particular attention to the information at https://www.cookcountystatesattorney.org/data about the pioneering data driven approach that State’s Attorney Foxx has implemented to achieve just outcomes and to inform the public.

Unfortunately, we face a situation in which the leadership of the Federation of Police has tried to subvert her efforts to bring justice and transparency to the operation of the prosecutor’s office in Cook County ever since she was elected in 2016.

Now the FOP has escalated these efforts into an all-out attack, using the Jesse Smollett matter and whatever else to smear State’s Attorney Foxx in order to achieve its real objectives of rolling back her efforts to hold police accountable for how they interact with the public, to level the playing field for everyone who goes through the court system, to challenge wrongful convictions, and to eliminate excessive incarceration.

See a Sun-Times assessment of the situation at https://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/venom-directed-at-kim-foxx-is-about-taking-down-an-african-american-reformer/.

Please make use of the opportunities that we have now and that we will have in coming months to support her work.  These include:

  • Writing to Mayor-elect Lightfoot at the “Share Your Ideas” portal she has provided at https://bettertogetherchicago.com/ to ask her to support State’s Attorney Foxx and her reform agenda and to defend her against the attacks by the Federation of Police, and
  • Joining the demonstration supporting Kim Foxx and her reform agenda and opposing the racist agenda of the Federation of Police, organized by The People’s Lobby and SOUL:

 4:00 to 6:00 on Monday May 6 at the headquarters of the Chicago Federation of Police, 1416 West Washington St.

     For more information go here.

Every citizen of Cook County, including every good police officer working to keep us safe, has a stake in making sure that Kim Foxx succeeds in her efforts and that the Chicago Federation of Police fails in its campaign to discredit her and to destroy her reform agenda.

It is time for citizens to resist the FOP by all means possible and to demand that all public officials reject and condemn its racist campaign.

Thank you as always for your interest and for all of your efforts to improve our system of justice and to let others know of the resources available for learning and for getting involved, including those mentioned in the attachment.