With nearly 20 years as a trial attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and a long-term commitment to fair and impartial criminal justice system, State Sen. John F. Curran has been selected to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices.
“Illinois’ justice system is spending an exorbitant sum of its funds and resources on pretrial services and the detention of individuals who have committed minor offenses,” said Curran. “The discussion for our pretrial practices is long overdue, and this Commission will work to create a structure of pretrial services that is fair, efficient, transparent, and most importantly, safe. Illinois counties need to allocate funds toward a more efficient criminal justice system and more effective use by law enforcement for keeping our communities safe.”
Serving on the Commission alongside Senator Curran are appellate and circuit court judges, the Cook County Sheriff, state representatives and other judicial professionals. They are primarily tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of the Illinois pretrial detention system and will make recommendations for changes. One particular area they will explore is transitioning the courts from a resource-based (cash-bail) system to a risk-based system (how likely the person is to reoffend or flee). Their report will include an analysis of the fiscal impact of these potential changes at the county and state level. Their recommendations are due December 2019.
The Commission on Pretrial Practices was launched by the Illinois Supreme Court in December 2017 and meets on a near-monthly basis. Its formation followed a years-long stakeholder committee exploring the financial strain of pretrial services in Cook County, which has since piloted a new program and seen a significant reduction in cost at the correction facility.