Former chair of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board Donald Shelton joins “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” on April 3, 2024. (WTTW News)

“It’s one thing to say that I think the judgment was in error,” Donald Shelton said in an exclusive interview with WTTW News. “It’s another thing to say that there was a lack of concern for a victim of domestic violence.”

Prosecutors said 11-year-old Jayden Perkins was killed by Crosetti Brand last month as the boy tried to protect his pregnant mother from her ex-boyfriend’s knife, a mere day after Brand had been cleared by the Prisoner Review Board for release from Stateville Correctional Center. (Courtesy of Jayden Perkins Family Support Fund)
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The killing of 11-year-old Jayden Perkins is drawing attention to a small state board responsible for deciding when prisoners can be released on parole.

Jayden Perkins (Courtesy of Jayden Perkins Family Support Fund)

“We see a lot with our clients, this cycle of domestic violence, and unfortunately, a cycle of systems failing victims,” said Ashley Olson, associate director of Ascend Justice. 

31-year-old Crystal Martinez stands for a portrait after speaking about her experiences with domestic violence and life in prison without her children Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Ill. (AP Photo / Erin Hooley)

Crystal Martinez, who has been incarcerated for more than two years in Illinois’ largest prison for women for shooting a man, was being resentenced under a rare Illinois law allowing judges to reduce jail time for some domestic violence survivors.

Illinois State Capitol. (WTTW News)
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The Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline reported a 9% uptick in contacts received between 2020 and 2021, according to The Network for Advocating Against Domestic Violence 2021 annual report. With those grim statistics, Illinois lawmakers hope updates to domestic violence laws will help survivors of abuse.

(Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash)
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An increase in domestic violence reports has not only highlighted the need for better legal protection and laws for survivors, but also the need for creating an improved network of care in cases of abuse. Dozens of organizations in Chicago are working to address those needs. 

(WTTW News)

A recent ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said the Second Amendment allows people accused of domestic abuse to have guns. The ruling applies only to the 5th District, but advocates said there could be ramifications nationwide.

(Kristina Tripkovic / Unsplash)
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During the height of the pandemic in 2021, domestic violence cases saw a sharp increase in Illinois. The numbers come from a new report released earlier this week by The Network an advocacy group against domestic violence.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., center, holds a news conference to announce a bipartisan update to the Violence Against Women Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Dick Durbin announced a bill to renew the Violence Against Women Act alongside his Democratic and Republican colleagues who were also joined by domestic violence survivors and actor and advocate Angelina Jolie.

(Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash)

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Logan Correctional Center is putting together performances about gender-based violence. Twenty-one people will perform over Zoom and share their stories through poems, monologues and more. 

(WTTW News)

Chief Judge Timothy Evans issued an order allowing nearly all domestic violence proceedings to go forward by videoconference or teleconference, saying it’s being done “in order to better serve victims” in these cases.

Gino Garcia and his aunt Tiffany Sexton (Courtesy of Gino Garcia)
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Gino Garcia’s work to raise awareness of domestic violence caught the attention of U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski. On Tuesday, Garcia will attend Trump’s address as a guest of the congressman. 

Pictured are Gino Garcia, his mother, Brenda Sexton, and other family members. (Courtesy of Gino Garcia)

The Chicago Police Department fields about 500 domestic violence calls every day. One police officer tries to help victims by sharing his own experiences. “I know what it’s like to need help and not knowing who can help me,” said Officer Gino Garcia.

Bears star Brandon Marshall speaks out about Roger Goodell, domestic violence, and his past troubles, which have been brought to light in a new complaint against the NFL. Paris Schutz has the latest.

We discuss how the NFL handled the Ray Rice domestic violence situation with our panel.