(WTTW News)

Guns classified by the state of Illinois as "assault weapons" have been banned since Jan. 11. That means that hundreds — perhaps thousands — of guns can no longer be legally sold in Illinois. Those who already own guns and ammunition covered by the ban can keep them; they must be registered with the state.

Illinois lawmakers are pressing forward with an attempt to ban certain firearms they describe as assault weapons, but gun rights advocates say it’s a fruitless effort that will be tossed by the courts.


There are now 533 confirmed monkeypox cases in Illinois. And one of those cases was confirmed last week in Cook County Jail. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office said the individual is believed to have contracted the virus in the community prior to being ordered into custody.

(WTTW News)

In the county’s electronic monitoring program administered by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office, defendants wear an ankle monitor equipped with GPS and cellular tower tracking technology. Some say the readings are not always accurate, leading to incorrect reports of violations. 

Sen. Dick Durbin chairs a Senate committee hearing on carjackings on March 1, 2022. (WTTW News)

Both locally and nationally, carjackings are on the rise. In Chicago, they have tripled over the last decade, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office. Other cities including New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. have also seen similar upticks.

In this undated file photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Office, authorities exhume a box with the remains of unidentified victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the Chicago area in the 1970s. (AP Photo/Cook County Sheriff's Office, File)

Francis Wayne Alexander would have been 21 or 22 years old when Gacy killed him sometime between early 1976 and early 1977, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said at a news conference in announcing the identification of Alexander’s remains.

Cook County carjackings are on the rise once again and are on track to be the worst in two decades, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. (WTTW News)

In March, a task force was formed by the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois State Police, and others to try and put the brakes on carjackings.

Angela Martin-Fields speaks about her mother Viola Martin, who has been missing since 2009. (WTTW News)

Black women and girls in the U.S. are disproportionately at risk for abuse, exploitation and homicide. In the Chicago area, an alarming number of Black women and girls have gone missing. Can a new initiative help find them?

In this Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, photo Sheriff’s Police Sgt. Bonnie Busching tests a virtual meeting with a tablet at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

Law enforcement agencies are struggling nationwide with increasing violent crime as calls mount for changing how police interact with citizens, especially those with mental health issues.

(WTTW News)

More than 500 current and former employees of the Cook County jail say they were subject to “vulgar” “and “offensive” misconduct by detainees, and that Sheriff Tom Dart’s office did not do enough to protect them from the constant harassment.

A 2019 police booking photo shows Marilyn Hartman. (Chicago Police Department)

Marilyn Hartman, the Chicago woman dubbed the “Serial Stowaway” for her repeated attempts to sneak past security and onto flights, has been ordered held without bail after she was once again arrested at O’Hare Airport this week while out on electronic monitoring in a previous case.

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Police Department unveiled a new website dedicated to its carjacking prevention efforts following what it called a “successful” mission over the weekend by a joint carjacking task force that resulted in a dozen arrests.

Cook County Jail (WTTW News)

An official with the Teamsters Local 700 is calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other leaders to prioritize corrections officers due to the “high risk of exposure” to the disease he claimed remains in the jail.

Sheriff Tom Dart speaks about COVID-19 at the Cook County Jail on Nov. 12, 2020. (WTTW News)

The sheriff began feeling symptomatic on Nov. 20, his office said, and he immediately self-quarantined at that point. He has not worked in his office since Nov. 19.

Cook County Jail (WTTW News)

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced that beginning Monday, it will temporarily halt visits at the jail as Chicago and Cook County continue dealing with a second surge of COVID-19.


Cook County Jail was once the hot spot for the coronavirus, but now the positivity rate is lower there than in Chicago and Cook County. As COVID-19 surges in the community, officials and advocates worry it will reach detainees.