Archive for September 2011

How one family drew a one-strike investigation

Around this time last year, Patricia Reed, her husband Albert Sims and I were catching up on the third floor of Cook County’s criminal courthouse when she filled me in on her moving plans. I was working on a piece about 17-year-olds in the adult felony system at the time and was lucky enough to... Read more »

Affirmative action stealing white money? Not so fast.

Affirmative action stealing white money? Not so fast.
Affirmative action used to be a fierce, oft-debated subject in this country. These days, not so much. In fact, some groups are creating scholarships for white men. But do they really need it? After decades of affirmative action policies, are minority students finally getting a leg-up, causing white students to have less opportunity? A new... Read more »

Watchdog: closing prison will likely exacerbate crowded correctional system

Watchdog: closing prison will likely exacerbate crowded correctional system
A prison watchdog group is raising the alarm about Gov. Pat Quinn’s move to close the Logan Correctional Facility as part of a growing battle over the state budget. Shuttering Logan, a medium-security prison that houses some 2,000 inmates, “will likely exacerbate [the Illinois Department of Correction’s] overcrowded conditions, jeopardize the safety of inmates and... Read more »
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Job training program caters to an emerging group of unemployed

Only in its second year, Chicago Career Tech, a job training program for unemployed Chicagoans, is seeing the number of applicants grow exponentially. Unlike other programs, the nonprofit focuses its services on an emerging group of unemployed: Those who, until recent economic downturn, held a job earning middle-income wages. Since its launch in 2010, roughly... Read more »

USDA says food stamps kept more people from going hungry

There are a lot of hungry people in America–17.2 million households that were labeled “food insecure” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not always knowing where their next meal was coming from. A third of those went hungry at some point because they couldn’t afford enough food. Children in 386,000 families went hungry some time... Read more »

Must-hear radio: "One and Done" on today's Barbershop Show

Must-hear radio: "One and Done" on today's Barbershop Show
If you’ve never tuned in to our weekly radio show, the Barbershop Show, or if you listen every single week, you simply must tune in today at noon. We’ve gathered a group of people who are sure to make one of our most memorable, most controversial and most interesting shows ever. Did you know that... Read more »
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Quinn: Budget forces me to lay off 1,938 state workers, close seven facilities

Quinn: Budget forces me to lay off 1,938 state workers, close seven facilities
Gov. Pat Quinn today moved to shutter three state mental health facilities, two centers for people with developmental disabilities and two prisons, saying the fiscal year 2012 budget passed by members of the Illinois General Assembly during the spring legislative session failed to provide sufficient tax dollars to fund their operations. During the spring legislative... Read more »

Getting around town with bus rapid transit

Getting around town with bus rapid transit
Creating bus rapid transit corridors in Chicago has been on the local transport agenda for several years now. The Chicago Transit Authority and Department of Transportation expect to have a version of bus rapid transit in place on Jeffrey Avenue by the fall of 2012; the agencies are planning for a Western Avenue corridor now.... Read more »

Read the Reporter in The New York Times!

Read the Reporter in The New York Times!
For years, public housing advocates have complained about the Chicago Housing Authority’s one strike policy–the policy that make families eligible for eviction if anyone in their household is arrested, even if the charges are later dropped. We’ve all wondered: Just how many families are being evicted each year? And for what? Is the one strike... Read more »
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Chicago's next budget and its health services

Chicago's next budget and its health services
The future of the City of Chicago’s health services network may come into focus during the city’s upcoming budget season. The Chicago Department of Public Health operates facilities for mental health patients and neighborhood medical clinics that offer a range of programming, from pregnancy testing to adult care. Labor organizations that represent the city’s health... Read more »