JJI Logo

Dear  ,

Yesterday the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force issued its recommendations and called for sweeping changes in oversight, training and philosophy in the Chicago police department.  The task force found  74% of people killed or injured by Chicago police officers over the past 8 years were African American and asked that the department acknowledge its history of racism.  See the full report  here .

In light of this report, and its extraordinary findings and recommendations regarding racist practices in our state's largest police department, several bills pending in Springfield right now take on even greater importance.  Details on some of these bills are below:  
  • SB2370 - "Counsel at the Station House" - this bill would require that children have legal counsel while being interrogated by the police for a homicide.  This bill passed out of the senate Executive committee and is on the senate floor.  See sidebar for more information.
  • HB5619 - Requires a review of the decision to detain a child within 24 hours, 7 days a week.  Currently children are entitled to a judicial review of the decision to detain them - but within 40 hours, not including weekends and holidays.  This means a child who is placed in detention on a Friday may not get a review of whether or not he or she should even be in detention until Tuesday.  Detention is harmful to children - the use of detention must be reduced and children need a review quickly - like adults who get a bail hearing within 24 hours, 7 days a week. 
In addition, we were very excited to see strong support for HB6308, a bill sponsored by Rep. Laura Fine, that would raise the age of juvenile court to 21 for young people charged with misdemeanors. It passed out of the Juvenile Justice and System Involved Youth Committee on a vote of 14-1!   

And yesterday SB3292, sponsored by Sen. Raoul, and supported by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, that will change the definition of "habitual criminal" to require that the person's first or second offense be committed after the person is 21, and other improvements to the criminal code, passed out of the senate Criminal Law committee and is on its way to the senate.  Read the full bill here.

If you would like, please call your senator and/or representative to state your support for these bills. 

All very hopeful changes for children in conflict with the law! 


Gretchen McDowell             Elizabeth Clarke
Board Chair                            President and Founder

Click here to support our work advocating for the rights of children in conflict with the law.  

JJI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and all contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Lawyer for all Juveniles during Police Interrogations

This year is the 50th anniversary of Miranda v. Arizona...the Supreme Court case that led to "Miranda rights."

Did you know that current law in Illinois allows children to be interrogated by the police without a parent or lawyer present?

It is time to recognize that children cannot waive their Miranda rights.

JJI supports SB2370(Van Pelt), as amended,  that requires children have a lawyer  during a police interrogation for a homicide.  Click here for more information. 

JJI works everyday  to transform the juvenile justice system in Illinois.  We fight to eliminate racial disparities, reduce reliance on detention, ensure fairness for all youth and develop community based resources throughout the state to help rehabilitate our young people and make our communities safer.

Visit our website for more information on what we are working on.

To Learn More: