Under pressure from a Cook County judge, the Illinois State Police has relaxed its opposition to sealing or expunging the criminal records of thousands of ex-offenders in the last seven months, but hundreds have yet to reap the benefits.
Paul P. Biebel Jr., presiding judge of the Circuit Court of
Cook County Criminal Division, demanded in March that the police begin
sealing and expunging the records, in response to a Chicago Reporter
investigation, initially published online in March. The Reporter
revealed then that the police had defied about 2,700 of the 32,000
sealing and expungement court orders issued between 2004 and 2008.
that month, the police notified the Office of the Illinois Attorney
General–which, by law, represents the Illinois State Police in
court–that they had rejected about 1,500 more records–about 4,200 in
all–than previously revealed to the Reporter.
indicated their defiance began no later than 1999, five years earlier
than previously reported, according to an e-mail and an agency
spreadsheet obtained by the Reporter. More.