New Direction for Circuit Court Clerk?

A new direction for the Office of the Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk would be most welcomed. The Office is an public body few people know exists and rarely pay attention to unless they somehow end up involved in the court system. For 20 years the office has been run in the most incompetent and corrupt way possible by the former Clerk Dorothy Brown; however, last November voters elected a new person to the office, former State Senator Iris Martinez. However fleeting this moment is, it certainly is an opportunity to change the direction of the office and have it at the very least serving the needs of Cook County residents most of the time.

Today we sit down with Alexandra Block, a Partner at Miller Shakman & Beem LLP & Annie McGowan, Senior Research Associate, Civic Federation, to discuss a report they authored for the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the recommendations included for how the Clerk’s Office can move in another direction. Their suggests for moving the office in a new direction rely heavily on updating the technology of the Clerk’s office. Anyone who has spent any time trying to get information out of the pre-Windows 95 terminals that the Clerk’s Office maintains knows this is a vital step for them to take to convince the public they are serious about moving in a new direction.

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Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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