WBEZ | criminal justice http://www.wbez.org/tags/criminal-justice Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Republican Running for State’s Attorney: Winning ‘Very Doable’ http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/republican-running-state%E2%80%99s-attorney-winning-%E2%80%98very-doable%E2%80%99-114743 <p><p dir="ltr">While the Democratic candidates are beating each other up in the primary, the lone Republican candidate for Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney is waiting rested and unbruised for the general election.</p><p>Attorney Christopher Pfannkuche spent 31 years as a Cook County prosecutor, his last four under Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez.</p><p>&ldquo;I was one of those prosecutors who wanted to be a career prosecutor,&rdquo; Pfannkuche said. &ldquo;But the last four years...I watched our office begin to change, the atmosphere changed, her priorities changed the priorities of the office. The office lost the direction that it should have been on.&rdquo;</p><p>Pfannkuche said he is looking to unseat his former boss because people have lost faith in Cook County&rsquo;s justice system.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;ve lost trust in the criminal justice system, and that is disastrous for an office like ours, [which] is there to represent the people of Cook County,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>While he is very critical of the incumbent Alvarez, in many ways Pfannkuche sounds a lot like her Democratic challengers.</p><p>In an interview with WBEZ, he even echoed Democratic candidate Kim Foxx&rsquo;s line that Cook is &ldquo;a county in crisis.&rdquo;</p><p>And he was equally critical of Alvarez&rsquo;s handling of the police shooting of LaQuan McDonald. Alvarez has faced intense criticism, and calls for her to resign because it took her more than a year to charge Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke with murder.</p><p>Pfannkuche said he understands Alvarez had to wait for the city&rsquo;s Independent Police Review Authority, or IPRA, to conclude its investigation into the teenager&rsquo;s 2014 death. But he said that&rsquo;s no excuse.</p><p>&ldquo;I did not hear Anita Alvarez complaining that it was taking IPRA months to conduct that investigation. She should have been out there complaining, advocating for the citizens of Cook County &hellip; She didn&rsquo;t do that, she just sat there and waited. And that&rsquo;s the problem, she&rsquo;s reactive not proactive,&rdquo; Pfannkuche said.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Slide3.PNG" style="height: 228px; width: 540px;" title="" /></div><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-28/cook-county-state%E2%80%99s-attorney-democratic-candidates-debate-114634">In a debate on WBEZ, Alvarez said</a> she did nothing wrong in the McDonald case.</p><p>&ldquo;That was a thorough and complete and meticulous investigation,&rdquo; Alvarez said.</p><p>As for how he would handle police shootings going forward, Pfannkuche said he would have a special division within his office, that would not deal with any other cases to avoid any conflicts of interest.</p><p>&ldquo;So their sole focus and sole cases that they handle are police-involved shootings. And those assistants should be answerable directly to me. As such they would be independent in the confines of the state&rsquo;s attorney&rsquo;s office.&rdquo;</p><p>That is the same position staked out by Democratic challenger Donna More. And Loyola University professor of criminal justice Don Stemen said it&rsquo;s a model that works.</p><p>&ldquo;The bolstering of an internal unit to address things like, not just police shootings but police misconduct &hellip; that&rsquo;s worked well in other jurisdictions that have had problems with police shootings and police misconduct,&rdquo; Stemen said.</p><p>Pfannkuche said his campaign will ramp up once the primary is over and he knows his opponent.</p><p>Despite all the attention on the Democratic candidates, the Northwest Side Republican believes he has a good shot of winning the general election.</p><p>&ldquo;The one thing that most people forget is that this is probably the one single county office that regularly swings Republican,&rdquo; Pfannkuche said. &ldquo;This is something that&rsquo;s actually very doable. And I think the reason for that is, people look at the state&rsquo;s attorney office, not as a political office. They look upon the candidates for state&rsquo;s attorney as who can do the best job to keep the streets safe.&rdquo;</p><p>Pfannkuche said he has had several meetings with Illinois Republican leaders, and is getting party support. But so far he is the only one who has given money to his campaign, including $25,000 in loans.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">@pksmid</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/republican-running-state%E2%80%99s-attorney-winning-%E2%80%98very-doable%E2%80%99-114743 Illinois Ranks Third in Exonerations, Contributing to Record High Nationwide http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-ranks-third-exonerations-contributing-record-high-nationwide-114695 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Exonerations_160203_az.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Binging episodes of <em><a href="https://serialpodcast.org/">Serial </a></em>or <em><a href="https://www.netflix.com/title/80000770">Making A Murderer</a></em> may be only a guilty pleasure for most, but some experts say the popularity of investigative crime shows can actually be linked to a record high number of exonerations. A <a href="https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Documents/Exonerations_in_2015.pdf">study </a>released this week by the National Registry of Exonerations shows 149 wrongfully convicted people were released in 2015 - with 13 of them in Illinois.</p><p dir="ltr">Tara Thompson, an attorney with the<a href="http://www.exonerationproject.org/"> Exoneration Project</a> at the University of Chicago, said there is definitely a connection between rising numbers of exonerations and the exploding fanbase for true-crime shows. She says these investigative shows are making people realize that mistakes are common in the justice system, even when the accused are given a lawyer and jury trial.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;These kinds of shows that have some kind of entertainment value to them, that promise people a mystery, encourages people to be interested in this issue in a way that regular media attention wouldn&rsquo;t,&rdquo; Thompson said, &ldquo;And more public awareness ... leads to more pressure on politicians to think about these cases in a certain way.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Nationally there are nearly three exonerations a week, according to the study. These exonerations used to be big news, but the Exoneration Project&rsquo;s Jon Loevy says they&rsquo;ve become more common because of the advent of DNA testing. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s now becoming part of our society, part of our judicial system, and now part of our culture that some convictions are wrongful convictions,&rdquo; said Loevy. &ldquo;The public at large has a greater understanding that sometimes people confess to crimes they didn&rsquo;t commit, sometimes eyewitnesses get it wrong, sometimes people are wrongfully convicted for crimes they didn&rsquo;t commit.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Illinois had the third highest rate of exonerations last year. &nbsp;Loevy says the state -- and Chicago in particular -- have historically had a problem in trying to close criminal cases regardless of guilt or innocence, leading to wrongful convictions. However, he adds, just because there are less exonerations in other states doesn&rsquo;t mean there are less wrongful convictions -- only less people to expose them.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Alissa Zhu is a WBEZ news intern. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/AlissaZhu">@AlissaZhu</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 03 Feb 2016 17:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-ranks-third-exonerations-contributing-record-high-nationwide-114695 For Some Illinois Kids, Budget Battle Means Going to Prison Instead of Home http://www.wbez.org/news/some-illinois-kids-budget-battle-means-going-prison-instead-home-114251 <p><p>For some Illinois kids, the state&rsquo;s budget impasse means going to prison instead of going home. That&rsquo;s because the lack of a state spending plan is forcing a universally-renowned program to disappear.</p><p>The program is called Redeploy Illinois. It takes serious or repeat juvenile offenders, who would otherwise be headed to prison, and gives them therapy, mentoring, drug counseling, a case manager and sometimes, even round-the-clock supervision.</p><p>The idea is to invest in troubled kids, address their underlying problems and save money in the long run. Redeploy costs about $6,000 a year, for each kid. That&rsquo;s compared to an expense of more than $110,000 to send that same kid to prison.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/redeploy%20map.JPG" style="height: 696px; width: 540px;" title="Redeploy Illinois has closed or stopped accepting new kids in 23 Illinois counties. That’s more than half of the programs. (Map courtesy of the Illinois Collaboration on Youth)" /></p><p>Last year, Redeploy saved the state about $30 million, and kept almost 500 kids out of the state&rsquo;s youth prisons. One of the kids it helped was Philip Graceffa. Graceffa works at the fast food joint Beef-a-Roo in Rockford.</p><p>The minimum wage job, where he prepared the food, he said, is just &ldquo;alright.&rdquo; But it is a big deal that Graceffa has a job: Before the 18-year-old got hooked up with Redeploy Illinois, he was headed down a bad path.</p><p>&ldquo;Once my dad died, passed away, everything changed,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I had to switch schools&hellip;everything started going downhill for me.&rdquo;</p><p>That was in 2010, when Graceffa was 12.</p><p>His mom, Cynthia Graceffa said her son didn&rsquo;t grieve at all, which was odd because the two were &ldquo;extremely close.&rdquo; She said in the years after her husband&rsquo;s death, Philip was, &ldquo;pretty much out of control.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;He was doing whatever he wanted to do, coming home when he felt like it, running with the wrong crowd,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>And he started getting arrested.</p><p>First he was caught breaking into a school, then he was with a friend shoplifting at the mall. Things escalated when he got caught stealing a car.</p><p>&ldquo;Real pretty girl at school, stole her dad&rsquo;s car out of the driveway and wanted Philip to drive it and of course he hit a car and he ran,&rdquo; his mother remembered.&nbsp;</p><p>His last arrest was for selling his medication for his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at school. Philip was headed either to a youth prison, or an out-of-state boot camp. But Redeploy gave him a last chance to stay at home.</p><p>Cynthia Graceffa has had to work full time since her husband died. She said the Redeploy case manager, her name was Sarah, gave her son support she just couldn&rsquo;t provide.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;He had somebody to take him where he needed to go, who made sure he did his school work,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;They were able to talk to him and he listened to them, he didn&rsquo;t want to always listen to me. &nbsp;You know that&rsquo;s the way it is, they&rsquo;re mean to the ones they love.&rdquo;</p><p>Now, Philip has a job, a girlfriend and is about to earn his G.E.D.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m very proud of him, I&rsquo;ve got my son back, he&rsquo;s just totally turned around. And I pretty much credit that to Redeploy,&rdquo; Cynthia said.</p><p>In October, the Redeploy program in Rockford shut down. And this program, beloved by all, is disappearing across the state. John Johnson runs juvenile probation for Winnebago County.</p><p>&ldquo;Due to the budget impasse, our provider could no longer continue without being financed by the state,&rdquo; Johnson said.</p><p>Winnebago is one of 23 counties forced to either stop accepting new kids, or close their Redeploy programs altogether because Illinois doesn&rsquo;t have a budget. That&rsquo;s more than half of the state&rsquo;s participating programs, and there are even more teetering on the brink.</p><p>&ldquo;The ending of the program was like someone else walking away from the families and those kids,&rdquo; Johnson said. &ldquo;That was my biggest concern, &lsquo;what&rsquo;s going to happen to these minors and their families when someone else just walks out the door?&rsquo;&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Johnson said they&rsquo;ve already had kids sent to youth prison who would have been eligible for Redeploy; and there are juveniles in the county detention center right now who will head to the Department of Juvenile Justice because of Redeploy&rsquo;s absence. And, he said this isn&rsquo;t just a matter of a good program being put on hold: They won&rsquo;t be able to just flip the switch when funding is restored.&nbsp;</p><p>Real damage has already been done, and it will need to be untangled whenever the state finally gets a budget in place.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;My concern is the length of time, because we&rsquo;ve already lost staff so it&rsquo;s almost like re-starting the program all over again,&rdquo; Johnson said.</p><p>Cynthia Graceffa said she doesn&rsquo;t believe state politicians realize this budget fight means kids like her son are being locked up instead of getting the help they need.</p><p>They can&rsquo;t, Graceffa said, or they wouldn&rsquo;t be doing this.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer/reporter. Follow him @pksmid.</em></p></p> Tue, 22 Dec 2015 10:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/some-illinois-kids-budget-battle-means-going-prison-instead-home-114251 A Potential Fix for Cook County's Antiquated Justice System http://www.wbez.org/news/potential-fix-cook-countys-antiquated-justice-system-114187 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_110929172622.jpg" style="height: 334px; width: 620px;" title="In this Sept. 29, 2011 photo, inmates at the Cook County Jail in Chicago, one of the largest county jail in the nation, wait to be processed for release. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)" /></div><p>Chief Information Officer Simona Rollinson says right now, Cook County&rsquo;s public safety agencies have more than 20 different ways to track those in the criminal justice system, and most of them are paper-based.</p><p>That antiquated, disjointed system has created problems and stymied reform for years.</p><p>Rollinson has been with the county for about a year-and-a-half, but the push for something called &ldquo;Integrated Justice&rdquo; started way back in 2002. The goal is to create a uniform, digital platform to store and share information.</p><p>On Wednesday, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a $2.3 million contract to <em>finally</em> get started. Rollinson called the vote &ldquo;monumental for Cook County.&rdquo;</p><p>Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle lauded the vote in a statement.</p><p>&ldquo;The benefits of having a way to seamlessly translate and transfer data between all of Cook County&rsquo;s justice agencies are enormous,&rdquo; Preckwinkle said.</p><p>&ldquo;This is for me a big accomplishment,&rdquo; Rollinson said. &ldquo;Going to the board to get a procurement to implement this software platform to exchange information is monumental for Cook County.&rdquo;</p><p>The two-year contract is with Applications Software Technology Corporation in Naperville, Ill. The company will be charged with implementing software and hardware, as well as managing data exchanges among Cook County criminal justice agencies.</p><p>If it succeeds, Integrated Justice would be a huge shift for a criminal justice system that has long been behind the times.</p><p>Clerk of the Court Dorothy Brown drew cheers in 2012 when she promised to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/dorothy-brown-wins-4th-term-cook-county-circuit-court-clerk-97487">come up with a policy to permit &ldquo;electronic documents to be seen online, on the internet</a>,&rdquo; something that in the waning days of 2015 is still not possible.</p><p>The Cook County sheriff has been <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-man-beaten-cook-county-jail-more-10-hours-after-judge-ordered-his-release-110788">repeatedly sued for not letting inmates out in a timely manner</a> after a judge orders their release. Jail officials have said the process is slow because they have to go through paper records to make sure the inmate in question isn&rsquo;t wanted on a separate case.</p><p>Preckwinkle said the new software platform will help &ldquo;prevent situations where detainees are released too soon or too late due to miscommunication.&rdquo;</p><p>Rollinson said with this and a few other major projects, she is working to &ldquo;modernize Cook County&rdquo; for the next 10 to 15 years.</p><p>The biggest obstacle up until now, has been getting all of the different agency heads on board. Preckwinkle said the program will rely on continued buy-in from agency leaders.</p><p>&ldquo;Improving communication between software systems is a key step in improving the justice system in Cook County, but once the system is implemented it will be up to the justice agencies to take advantage of the opportunity,&rdquo; Preckwinkle said.</p><p>Last year, Brown, Preckwinkle, Chief Judge Timothy Evans, State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez, Sheriff Tom Dart and then-Public Defender Abishi Cunningham all signed a memorandum of agreement to share data between their offices.</p><p>Rollinson said she believes they will stick to it.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s in everybody&rsquo;s interest to have this timely data, there are a lot of optics [for] each of their offices,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The first phase will begin on January 1, and focus on prisoner information shared between the clerk and the sheriff, and charging information shared between the clerk and the state&rsquo;s attorney.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer/reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">@pksmid</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/potential-fix-cook-countys-antiquated-justice-system-114187 What makes a great Police Commissioner? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/what-makes-great-police-commissioner-113215 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/garry mccarthy ap file.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It could be argued that one of the toughest jobs in any big city is Police Chief. They&rsquo;re tasked with everything from setting the tone of the department and navigating the politics of the job to meeting the demands of the community and of course, keeping crime in check.</p><p>It&rsquo;s that last job where a group of African American aldermen say Chicago&rsquo;s top cop is missing the mark. For the past couple of days, members of the city council&rsquo;s Black Caucus have been calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy for what they say is his failure to reduce crime in their neighborhoods. The mayor defended his CPD chief, saying the focus should be &ldquo;on gangs and guns, not on Garry.&rdquo;</p><p>So, how much power does the police superintendent have to reduce crime? Michael Scott, professor of criminology and criminal justice at Arizona State University, talks more broadly about police commissioners, what they do, and how far their powers extend.&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 07 Oct 2015 10:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-07/what-makes-great-police-commissioner-113215 Looking at prison overcrowding from a victim’s rights perspective http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-11/looking-prison-overcrowding-victim%E2%80%99s-rights-perspective-112621 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/prison FlickrKate Ter Haar.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>According to some experts, the incarceration rate in the US is 5 times pre-1975 levels, and 7 times the levels seen in Canada and in Europe. It&rsquo;s expensive, and legislators from both sides of the aisle as well as policy makers agree something needs to be done. We explored the notion of low-level offenders &mdash; who they are and what effect their release would have on the numbers. But others would take it even further, claiming that sentences in this country are too long, even for violent offenders like rapists and murders.</p><p>So how long should someone go to prison for a car theft, a rape, a murder? We talk about where you draw the line between punishment and rehabilitation in prison. One of the voices in this debate is that of crime victims and their families. For that we turn to Jennifer Bishop Jenkins, the Director of illinoisvictims.org, a group that provides resources for victims of violent crimes.</p></p> Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-11/looking-prison-overcrowding-victim%E2%80%99s-rights-perspective-112621 The myth of the low-level offender http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-06/myth-low-level-offender-112581 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/prison FlickrMichael Coghlan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When it comes to criminal justice, you&rsquo;re probably familiar with the following phrases: Three strikes. Mandatory minimum sentences. Truth in Sentencing. They&rsquo;re shorthand for policies that many say have put far too many Americans behind bars.</p><p>Another phrase people toss around is &ldquo;the low-level offender.&rdquo; You&rsquo;ll hear it on Capitol Hill, where these days bipartisan consensus is building around the need to reduce the prison population. If we would just release low-level offenders, the argument goes, we could end mass incarceration. The thing is...some people say the low level offender is a myth, or at the very least, a designation without a clear definition.</p><p>So, what could that mean for the discussion we&rsquo;re having in this country about how we mete out justice for crimes? We&#39;re joined by WBEZ criminal and legal affairs reporter Robert Wildeboer and Mark Kleiman, a Professor of Public Policy at New York University who specializes in crime policy.</p></p> Thu, 06 Aug 2015 10:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-06/myth-low-level-offender-112581 7-year-old felled by gun violence during holiday weekend http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/7-year-old-felled-gun-violence-during-holiday-weekend-112320 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213500003&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">7-year-old felled by gun violence during holiday weekend</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">At least 40 people were wounded by gunfire and eight dead over the Fourth of July weekend, including 7-year-old Amari Brown in Humboldt Park. While the violence tally was less than the last two July 4th weekends, the community said it&rsquo;s still too much and wonder when enough will be enough. There were several anti-violence measures in place over the last few days to help keep the shootings at bay. Last week we talked to Autry Phillips of Target Area Development Corp. about the grassroots organization putting 300 people on the streets in Englewood and portions of the West Side to reduce the violence. Phillips joins us on the line to discuss the group&rsquo;s effort. Father Michael Pfleger, head pastor at St. Sabina also joins us by phone to discuss the gun violence and the mens-only march the church organized through the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood to kick of what many hoped would be a safe holiday weekend.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>Guests:</strong> <em>Father <a href="https://twitter.com/MichaelPfleger">Michael Pfleger</a> is the pastor at St. Sabina in Auburn-Gresham. Autry Phillips is head of the <a href="http://targetarea.org/">Target Area Development Corporation</a>.&nbsp;</em></span></p></p> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 10:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-06/7-year-old-felled-gun-violence-during-holiday-weekend-112320 Afternoon Shift: What is the artist’s responsibility to address social issues? http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-05-07/afternoon-shift-what-artist%E2%80%99s-responsibility-address-social <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Flickr%20Todd%20Ehlers.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="(Photo: Flickr/Todd Ehlers)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204423139&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">The relationship between art and social commentary</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb">Theater has a history of making political and social statements. From Shakespeare, to Tennessee Williams and August Wilson, playwrights have used the stage to address issues of public importance. Now, with events in Ferguson, New York and most recently Baltimore - many local theaters are reacting by creating opportunities for audiences to explore issues of race and inequality. </span>Isaac Gomez, Bobby Bierdrzycki, John Conroy and, Anthony Moseley are all involved in the arts and have personal experience crafting social commentary into theater. We bring you this conversation in two parts.<br /><br /><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul dir="ltr"><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb"><a href="https://twitter.com/isoteric8">Isaac Gomez</a></span> is literary manager for the Victory Gardens Theater.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb"><a href="https://twitter.com/bobbyfloats">Bobby Bierdrzycki</a></span> is the curriculum and instruction associate for the Goodman Theatre.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb"><a href="http://www.john-conroy.com/">John Conroy</a></span> is a former investigative journalist and playwright.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3061-51d7-1519-215ac7f67acb">Anthony Moseley is </span>Executive Artistic Director at <a href="https://twitter.com/Collaboraction">Collaboraction Theater</a>.</em></li></ul><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204423141&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Want to know where to find art in Chicago?</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3063-77e0-41e0-5f4e7759a3c3">A few weeks ago we talked to the </span>General Admission guys about why people DON&rsquo;T see art. We invited our listeners to join in with their own reasons for not seeing artistic events, and many of you said part of it was you just didn&rsquo;t know about them. So we had our General Admission podcasters do some research to bring you some great resources for finding art in the city.</p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><a href="https://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-how-do-you-find-out-about-artistic">You can check out some of the resources we listed, by going to the Storify page linked in this sentence.</a></p><p dir="ltr"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3063-77e0-41e0-5f4e7759a3c3">Guests:</span></strong></p><ul dir="ltr"><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3063-77e0-41e0-5f4e7759a3c3"><a href="https://twitter.com/storyproducer">Tyler Greene</a></span> is co-host of WBEZ&rsquo;s General Admission podcast.</em></li><li><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3063-77e0-41e0-5f4e7759a3c3"><a href="https://twitter.com/thejoypowers">Joy Powers</a></span> is a WBEZ producer.</em></li></ul><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204423550&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Chicago business with a focus on fair trade apparel</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">On April 29 - &nbsp;to very little fanfare - the Cook County Board passed an ordinance which ensures that no county offices would purchase uniforms or other items from garment vendors that employ sweatshop labor. And, in the Chicago, May 7 is the second day of World Fair Trade Day Festival celebrations. Harish Patel is the owner of Chicago-based, ishi vest - a company that specializes in organic and fair trade clothing. He joins us for this installment in our week long series of conversations with local small business owners in honor of Small Business Week.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3066-d555-fa29-a7b107b8e0f8">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/harishibrahim">Harish Patel</a> is owner of ishi vest.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203497427&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Englewood residents negotiate the role Whole Foods will play in the community</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">It&rsquo;s going to be more than a year before Whole Foods opens a new store in Chicago&rsquo;s Englewood neighborhood. The company announced it&rsquo;s plans for Englewood a year-and-a-half ago. The lengthy timeline doesn&rsquo;t mean the community is sitting idly by. Residents are actively engaging with Whole Foods about the role of an organic grocery store in a food desert. WBEZ&rsquo;s Natalie Moore gives us an update.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3068-a3a7-ff69-54f156abd289">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204422239&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Has summertime finally arrived in Chicago?</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">It feels like the short but beautiful Chicago summer has finally arrived--but we all know it could feel like winter again in an instant. Joining us to explain this crazy late-spring weather is Gilbert Sebenste, meteorologist at Northern Illinois University.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-306a-3a2c-5ea6-12e0e4764a54">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Gilbert_S">Gilbert Sebentse</a> is a meteorologist at Northern Illinois University.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204422796&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Tech Shift: What thunder looks like</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Lightning storms look cool - a brilliant flash of light in the dark, a massive bolt suddenly streaks across the sky. For the most part, we understand lightning. But what about thunder? Scientists from Southwest Research Institute have been conducting experiments to literally get a better picture of how thunder works. Dr. Maher Dayeh is a Space Physicist in the Space Science &amp; Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute and he joins us with details on the team&rsquo;s experiment.</p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-306b-8b7e-8edc-c6492a50abb2"><strong>Guest:</strong> <em>Maher Dayeh is a space physicist in the Space Science &amp; Engineering Division at </em></span><em><a href="http://www.swri.org/">Southwest Research Institute</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204422415&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Chicago&#39;s Jimmy Butler wins Most Improved Player</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The NBA has announced that the Bulls&rsquo; Jimmy Butler has been voted the league&#39;s Most Improved Player. Not only did Butler win that accolade but it was a landslide! WBEZ sports contributor and Bulls aficionado Cheryl Raye-Stout joins us from the Bulls practice at the Advocate Center.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-306e-b758-5378-d4297076942c">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">Cheryl Raye-Stout</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s sports contributor.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204249224&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Curious City: What does the Lincoln Park Zoo do with all of its poo?</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">In this excerpt from our <em>Fecal Matters!</em> live event, experts explain how studying poo can keep zoo animals happy and healthy.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/204422619&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Cook County chiefs discuss criminal justice issues</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The top officials from Cook County&rsquo;s criminal justice system convened on May 7 for a panel discussion. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Sheriff Tom Dart, State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez, and Chief Judge Timothy Evans all sat together politely. But they&rsquo;ve been known to butt heads and assign each other blame in the past. WBEZ&rsquo;s Patrick Smith was there and he joins us with a recap.</p><p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-c2af537d-3072-4564-2794-6fbb3f2f3d9a">Guest: </span></strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">Patrick Smith</a> is a WBEZ reporter.</em></p></p> Thu, 07 May 2015 16:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2015-05-07/afternoon-shift-what-artist%E2%80%99s-responsibility-address-social Cook County demands payment from state for kids left waiting in jail http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-demands-payment-state-kids-left-waiting-jail-111702 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/JTDC Juvenile 4_WBEZ_Bill Healy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For the first time ever, Cook County is sending a bill to the State of Illinois for the cost of holding state wards left waiting at the juvenile jail by the Department of Children and Family Services.</p><p>The decision to demand reimbursement is part of a larger push back by the county against the human and financial costs of the failures of the state&rsquo;s child welfare agency.</p><p>It comes after a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-child-welfare-system-leaves-kids-stuck-jail-111576">recent WBEZ investigation</a> found that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) routinely leaves hundreds of kids stuck behind bars for weeks, or even months, after a judge has said they can go home. Because they are wards of the state, the kids can&rsquo;t leave the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center until the department finds them proper placement.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/federal-judge-takes-action-kids-left-jail-after-wbez-investigates-111680">Federal Judge takes action on kids left in jail by DCFS</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>&ldquo;The message is that we don&rsquo;t care about them, and that we think their liberty isn&rsquo;t an important issue. And I think that&rsquo;s a terrible message to send to young people,&rdquo; said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.</p><p>And Preckwinkle said it&rsquo;s a financial burden for the county.</p><p>&ldquo;The obligation of every executive is to run their unit of government to the best of your ability. And that means you don&rsquo;t cost-shift your financial obligations and burdens,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Preckwinkle said the impact on children is her main concern, &ldquo;but the money is not a trivial matter either.&rdquo;</p><p>That&rsquo;s why Preckwinkle said she is glad to hear that outgoing Cook County Juvenile Detention Center administrator Earl Dunlap is sending a bill to the state.</p><p>&ldquo;And I&rsquo;d be happy to second the motion,&rdquo; Preckwinkle said.</p><p>The invoice being sent to DCFS covers just two months&mdash;December and January&mdash;and it comes to $232,750.</p><p>The invoice is for 41 DCFS wards who spent a combined 665 days in jail after a judge told them they were free to go.</p><p>The juvenile jail is in Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele&rsquo;s district. And he recognizes that at that rate, the cost could amount to $1.5 million a year.</p><p>&ldquo;So that&rsquo;s a huge burden to Cook County and its taxpayers,&rdquo; Steele said.</p><p>Along with the invoice is <a href="https://www.scribd.com/doc/258641119/Letter-from-Earl-Dunlap-to-DCFS" target="_blank">a letter from juvenile jail administrator Dunlap to DCFS Director George Sheldon</a>. In it, Dunlap blasts the department for the &ldquo;agency&rsquo;s willful disregard to juveniles&rsquo; constitutional rights.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Prolonged stays at [the juvenile jail] for children awaiting DCFS placement &hellip; can cause lasting damage to a youth,&rdquo; Dunlap wrote.</p><p>Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans oversees the juvenile jail. He said he&rsquo;s not particularly concerned about which agency foots the bill.</p><p>&ldquo;The counties pull from the same taxpayers that pay the taxes on a statewide basis, so the main thing is that we don&rsquo;t want taxpayers to have to pay for anything unnecessarily,&rdquo; Evans said.</p><p>WBEZ interviewed Evans in late February. He said on the day of the interview there were 12 state wards in the juvenile jail waiting on DCFS.</p><p>&ldquo;Many of them are suffering already &hellip; many of them, they&rsquo;ve been abused and neglected on one side and then they engage in some delinquent conduct on the other side. And so they&rsquo;re already subjected to trauma in many instances and having them stay longer in a place they shouldn&rsquo;t be in just exacerbates the problem,&rdquo; Evans said.</p><p>DCFS spokesman Andrew Flach says his department has not yet received the invoice. But he&rsquo;s acknowledged the issue, and said he believes the agency&rsquo;s new leader will bring stability to the department.</p><p>&ldquo;The governor has made it a priority to help turn the agency around, and that&rsquo;s bringing someone in like Director George Sheldon &hellip;&nbsp; to help us get the job done,&rdquo; Flach said.</p><p>Cook County&rsquo;s demand for repayment comes at a particularly bad time for the state government. Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling for massive cuts to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap.</p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">Patrick Smith</a> is a WBEZ producer and reporter.</em></p></p> Sun, 15 Mar 2015 06:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-demands-payment-state-kids-left-waiting-jail-111702