Archive for November 2012

A Primer: Illinois teens in the juvenile justice system

We’ve been talking a lot about teens in the juvenile justice system since Angela Caputo’s great investigation, Minor Misconduct, came out this month. But maybe you, like me, don’t know much about how teens are treated in Illinois’ system. Angela helped me wade through the issue, and I created this infographic as a primer for... Read more »

Rep. LaShawn Ford indicted for bank fraud; tells us he disputes the charges

Rep. LaShawn Ford indicted for bank fraud; tells us he disputes the charges
State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford was indicted Thursday for making false statements to a bank and misusing funds intended to rehab properties in his district. He later blasted the charges as false, telling The Chicago Reporter: “I am not a person of scandal.” Ford is accused of giving ShoreBank false tax returns to increase his... Read more »

The Barber Shop Poll: Should 17 year-olds be charged as adults or minors?

This week on the Barber Shop Show, our weekly radio on Vocalo 89.5 FM, we’re talking about 17 year-olds in the criminal justice system. Currently, if a 17-year-old commits a felony in Illinois, they’re automatically charged as adults. That means they spend time in adult jail, get adult sentences and sent to adult prison. But... Read more »
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Illinois may have more poor folks than we think

Illinois may have more poor folks than we think
How many poor people are there in Illinois? It depends on how you count. Illinois is one of 14 states where a new way of measuring poverty reveals that more of our residents are poor. The Census Bureau recently put out a report (pdf) on the Supplemental Poverty Measure, a new way of calculating the... Read more »

State commission: 17-year-olds should be charged as minors, not adults

State commission: 17-year-olds should be charged as minors, not adults
Are 17-year-olds adults, or not? The answer is murky in Illinois. If they’re the victim of a crime, 17-year-olds are considered kids. The same goes if they break curfew, are charged with a misdemeanor, like marijuana possession, or try to buy cigarettes or vote. But when it comes to felonies, the teens are adults. Period.... Read more »

The real nanny diaries: Domestic workers struggle with no minimum wage and poor working conditions

The real nanny diaries: Domestic workers struggle with no minimum wage and poor working conditions
No minimum wage, no overtime pay and working ’round the clock? It may sound illegal, but it’s perfectly legit when it comes to domestic workers. Nannies, housekeepers and caregivers don’t enjoy the basic labor rights the rest of us have, and a new report shows just how much they’re suffering because of it. The average... Read more »
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Man who forced immigrants into prostitution sentenced to life in prison

Man who forced immigrants into prostitution sentenced to life in prison
Their nightmare dragged on for more than two years. The undocumented women from Eastern Europe were brought to the Chicago area where they were later beaten, branded and forced into prostitution. The man responsible for the scheme, Alex Campbell, was sentenced Monday to life without parole in a federal prison and to pay $124,000 in... Read more »

What's Up This Week: Replacing Jesse Jackson Jr.; dwindling SROs and school closings

Decisions, decisions. Gov. Pat Quinn is to decide on the schedule for the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned citing health reasons. Several seasoned politicians have already expressed an interest in the post. School Closings. The state legislature will debate Tuesday whether to extend the deadline for Chicago Public Schools... Read more »

Philanthropic giving to Latino nonprofits stays the same despite population growth

Philanthropic giving to Latino nonprofits stays the same despite population growth
Despite growth in the Latino population, philanthropic giving to organizations serving this community has not kept pace with its increasing needs. The Foundation Center in collaboration with Hispanics in Philanthropy conducted a study that found in the last decade, 1 percent of total foundation funding was designated for agencies that serve Latino communities. Funding levels... Read more »
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Help feed hungry families through your smartphone this holiday

Help feed hungry families through your smartphone this holiday
Got big plans for today? A 20-pound turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce? If only all Chicagoans were so lucky. One in six people in Cook County are “food insecure,” meaning they’re not certain of their next meal. But this holiday season, the Greater Chicago Food Depository is helping people with plenty give a... Read more »