The Illinois Supreme Court is appointing an administrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County to overhaul pretrial services and the adult probation department, and to reverse the backlog of inmates awaiting trial—some for years. The Court’s unprecedented move follows an audit of the probation and pretrial system after hundreds of convicts who were released pending trial were lost track of, and other defendants committed new crimes while awaiting trial on others charges.
The 64-page report cites a “gradual erosion of a management and leadership structure dedicated to the Pretrial Services Program” and makes 40 recommendations to clean up and streamline the system. Carol Marin and her guests have analysis. Joining Carol are Juliana Stratton, Executive Director of the Cook County Judicial Advisory Council, Cara Smith, Executive Director of Cook County Jail, and WBEZ Criminal and Legal Affairs Reporter Rob Wildeboer.