Archive for February 2013

A behind-the-scenes look at Cook County public defenders' heavy caseloads

A behind-the-scenes look at Cook County public defenders' heavy caseloads
It’s been 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that anyone facing criminal charges has a right to an attorney even if they can’t afford one. The decision came out of a case called Gideon vs. Wainwright and was settled in 1963. During that era, the criminal courts looked a lot different than they... Read more »

Voters fight cold, snow in primary election to fill ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s post

Voters fight cold, snow in primary election to fill ex-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s post
Despite the weather, voters in and around Chicago shuffled to their local polling stations for Tuesday’s primary election. Voters were to pick the Democrat and Republican who will vie for former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s seat in the April 9 election. Jackson resigned from his post in November, citing his mental health and amid... Read more »

Voters trickle into the polls to cast ballots in race to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Voters trickle into the polls to cast ballots in race to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
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What's Up This Week: Tuesday's special election; racial discrimination in public housing; undocumented immigrants discuss their status

What's Up This Week: Tuesday's special election; racial discrimination in public housing; undocumented immigrants discuss their status
Election Time. Voters are to head to the polls on Tuesday. On the primary’s ballot are several local contests, but the most-watched race is the 2nd Congressional District. Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. stepped down from the seat in November. He and his wife have pleaded guilty in federal court to criminal charges. Disparate Impact.... Read more »

Outside former 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson's office

Outside former 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson's office
*This post has been updated to remove the photo credit at the photographer’s request.

The Chicago Reporter awarded two grants to bolster data, immigration reporting

The Chicago Reporter awarded two grants to bolster data, immigration reporting
We’re excited to announce that The Chicago Reporter has won two grants that will bolster our data-driven reporting and will give us the tools necessary to look at immigration policy in Mexico. The first grant we won was for $5,000 from IRE Data Journalism Fund, sponsored by Google Idea, best known for applying technological solutions... Read more »
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Advocates hope prostitution laws will shift focus away from sex workers

Advocates hope prostitution laws will shift focus away from sex workers
Sex workers, and not their pimps or johns, continue to bear the disproportionate brunt of policing efforts against prostitution, but there is hope a legislative change is on the way. Illinois is one of just nine states in which second prostitution offenses can be upgraded to a felony charge. While pimps and traffickers are technically... Read more »

Hunger strike at Pontiac prison enters third week

Hunger strike at Pontiac prison enters third week
Cleaning supplies, sanitary toenail clippers, radios, fresh air and heat. These were among the initial demands of a group of prisoners on hunger strike at Pontiac Correctional Center. At its peak, 47 inmates were on hunger strike when the protest began Feb. 4, according to the Uptown People’s Law Center. Two days later, 25 prisoners... Read more »

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. pleads guilty, faces prison time and loss of federal pension

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. pleads guilty, faces prison time and loss of federal pension
Former U.S. Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of wire and mail fraud, according to news reports. “For years I lived off my campaign,” a tearful Jackson said, according to The New York Times. “I used money I shouldn’t have used for personal purposes.” The guilty plea came after federal... Read more »
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Fast-track foreclosure bill for abandoned homes signed into law

Fast-track foreclosure bill for abandoned homes signed into law
This train is now running express. Under a bill signed into law this month by Gov. Pat Quinn, abandoned homes can be fast-tracked to foreclosure. That means their upkeep becomes the lenders’ responsibility before they fall apart and drag down a neighborhood’s economy and security. The bill will also force banks to pay a fee... Read more »