WBEZ | criminal justice http://www.wbez.org/tags/criminal-justice Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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 Federal judge takes action on kids left in jail after WBEZ investigates http://www.wbez.org/news/federal-judge-takes-action-kids-left-jail-after-wbez-investigates-111680 <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/new%20JTDC%20Bill%20Healy%203.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="The Cook County Juvenile Center. (WBEZ/Bill Healy)" /></div><p>The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is agreeing to let outside experts monitor the department&rsquo;s placement practices and inspect its residential treatment centers.</p><p>Judge Jorge Alonso signed off on the interim plan in federal court on Tuesday. The agreement is in response to an emergency motion filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.</p><p>The experts, Dr. Alan Morris and Deann Muehlbauer of the University of Illinois at Chicago, will inspect residential treatment centers, interview state wards and provide monthly reports on the practices and progress of the department.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s just some immediate steps to begin to address the serious problems that we&rsquo;ve raised in our emergency motion,&rdquo; said ACLU attorney Ben Wolf.</p><p>One of the groups meant to be helped by the interim plan are kids who are stuck waiting behind bars because the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) can&rsquo;t find an appropriate place for them to live.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-child-welfare-system-leaves-kids-stuck-jail-111576">A recent WBEZ investigation</a> found that over a three-year period there were almost 350 instances in which a young person waited a week or more in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center because DCFS couldn&rsquo;t place him. The longest wait was 190 days.</p><p>&ldquo;As WBEZ reported, there are children trapped in correctional settings when they&rsquo;ve been ordered released and I represent some of those children &hellip; and that&rsquo;s a horrible thing,&rdquo; Wolf said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve talked to some of those kids who are ordered released and then they&rsquo;re still in a locked juvenile detention facility only because their state parent, the department, doesn&rsquo;t have some place for them to live. I mean that&rsquo;s really inexcusable and I&rsquo;d like to start with those kinds of kids and see what we can do for them.&rdquo;</p><p>At the same time, a <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/rtc/">recent series by the Chicago Tribune</a> highlighted abuse and unsafe conditions at several residential treatment centers that provide care for state wards.</p><p>&ldquo;The first steps are to start to look at the most troubled residential treatment centers and to figure out if we need to close them [or] if we can provide technical assistance to fix them,&rdquo; Wolf said. &ldquo;And if we can&rsquo;t where the kids will go.&rdquo;</p><p>Wolf acknowledged that these competing problems make for a tough situation for the department. Closing troubled residential treatment centers will mean even less available beds for the kids stuck waiting in jail or in psychiatric hospitals for placement.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re gonna be struggling with shortages, and we&rsquo;re going to be gluing together packages of services and placements that are the best we can do but are not perfect, and we have to be realistic about that,&rdquo; Wolf said. &ldquo;I think the solution has to be intensive services in home-like settings.&rdquo;</p><p>DCFS spokesman Andrew Flach said in a statement that the department is &ldquo;encouraged&rdquo; by the interim agreement with the ACLU and looks forward to working with it and other stakeholders to &ldquo;ensure the agreement is implemented to the satisfaction of the court and the children and families we serve.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">Patrick Smith</a> is a WBEZ producer.</em></p></p> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 15:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/federal-judge-takes-action-kids-left-jail-after-wbez-investigates-111680 Exoneree Diaries: As series closes, how can system ever repay the falsely imprisoned? http://www.wbez.org/series/exoneree-diaries/exoneree-diaries-series-closes-how-can-system-ever-repay-falsely-imprisoned <p><p>Over the past two decades, Chicago lawyers, journalists and innocence crusaders have exposed flaws in the criminal justice system. Indeed, Cook County leads the country in the number of exonerations. But one area of wrongful convictions that has gone overlooked, apart from media coverage about multimillion dollar lawsuits won by the few, is how exonerated prisoners struggle to re-enter society and rebuild the lives and livelihoods they lost.</p><p>Exonerated prisoners encounter a world where they may have no place to sleep and no way to feed or clothe themselves; where family and friends have grown up, grown apart or died; where only 30 states plus Washington, D.C., have passed compensation statutes, and even some of these laws fall short; where they continue to experience the stigma of lockup and struggle to overcome years of institutionalization. On top of this, in Illinois criminal records are not automatically cleared when judges overturn convictions, interfering with the ability to find work and become part of a community.</p><p>These people do not even have a name. No dictionary I have found lists the word &ldquo;exoneree,&rdquo; even though as of this writing, there are 1,444 known men and women in the United States whose cases have been overturned since 1989, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.</p><p>For too long, they have been nearly voiceless. But in September 2013, WBEZ committed to giving three Cook County exonerees &ndash; Antione Day, Jacques Rivera and James Kluppelberg &ndash; a big voice.</p><p>Together, we launched Exoneree Diaries, a year-long multimedia series to explore a new frontier of the innocence movement. At the time, exonerations were at a record level &ndash; 87 total in 2013. In 2014, exonerations kept pace with those highs, with 76 convictions overturned as of this writing.</p><p>The narratives are built on a foundation of hundreds of hours of interviews with exonerees; their family and friends; criminal justice experts and officials; and lawyers and students. More than 4,000 pages of records &mdash; some more than a quarter of a century old &mdash; support their accounts, including original trial transcripts; court filings, orders and dockets; police reports; letters; news stories; affidavits and other evidence.</p><p>In the past year, we&rsquo;ve followed the lives of three exonerees:</p><blockquote><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/antione_0_0_1.png" style="height: 126px; width: 200px; float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Antione Day (Andrew Gill/WBEZ)" /><strong>Antione Day</strong>, who was convicted in 1992 based on false testimony and poor representation, had a less than triumphant release when his case was overturned 12 years ago, after nearly a decade of incarceration. He found himself outside in the rain with no money and nowhere to go, wearing clothes he had plucked from a stinking pile inside the Cook County Jail. For another decade, he lived with stigma, was repeatedly refused for employment and was profiled by police. He earned a certificate of innocence in 2011, the legal requirement in Illinois to obtain compensation, almost missing the deadline because he was unaware the state had such a process. With his compensation earnings, he started his own organization to help exonerees adjust to life after prison. Almost a quarter of a century after his ordeal began, Antione still feels like he is in the state&rsquo;s back pocket, especially after an officer spooked him by recalling his old arrest warrant for murder.</p></blockquote><blockquote><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/jaques_0_0_0_0.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 200px; float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="Jacques Rivera (Andrew Gill/WBEZ)" /><strong>Jacques</strong> <strong>Rivera </strong>was released from prison in 2011 after more than two decades behind bars. Eyewitness misidentification contributed to his wrongful conviction. His release garnered media attention, but when the cameras stopped clicking, he found himself struggling with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. He slept with a knife under his pillow for the first few months of his release, and he has had the frequent nightmare in which the detective from his criminal case, the notorious Reynaldo Guevara, shoots him in the back. Rivera has a civil lawsuit pending against the City of Chicago, and his attorneys are fighting to track down and access old police records. He is trying to reestablish relationships with his children &ndash; one of whom is incarcerated.</p></blockquote><blockquote><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/james_0_0%20-%20Copy_0.png" style="height: 103px; width: 200px; float: left; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="James Kluppleberg (Andrew Gill/WBEZ)" /><strong>James Kluppleberg </strong>spent almost a quarter of a century in prison when he was released in 2012. His mother died not long before his release, and his wife had divorced him about halfway through his incarceration. Were it not for his estranged son welcoming him in, James would have been homeless. His two granddaughters, whom he had never met, sacrificed their room for him, and for months he slept on their bunk bed with pink Tinkerbell sheets. He quickly sought employment, submitted hundreds of job applications, with little response. James went to interview for one position, only to be turned away on the spot. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t hire convicted murderers,&rdquo; they told him. He obtained a certificate of innocence, but the state fought his attempt, creating another long legal hurdle. James is suing about a dozen Chicago police officers for allegedly having contributed to his wrongful incarceration, in part due to a false confession that was beaten out of him, leading to health issues he continues to face. The lawsuit targets former police commander Jon Burge.</p></blockquote><p>We kicked off the series with<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BMmBbNhrnY"> a short documentary</a> introducing the three exonerees. Over the course of the year, WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Shift hosted our series 11 times, featuring all three exonerees. Sister Helen Prejean of &ldquo;Dead Man Walking&rdquo; and Kirk Bloodsworth, the first death row exoneree cleared by DNA evidence, also joined the program.</p><p>In addition to telling the exonerees&rsquo; individual stories, we delved into law and policy around exoneration issues, with insight from Loyola University&rsquo;s Life After Innocence program, the only project in the country solely dedicated to helping exonerees after release. We talked to Jarrett Adams, a Chicago native and Wisconsin exoneree with a burgeoning career as a lawyer, who gave us perspective on the weak compensation statute in Wisconsin. The state only compensates $5,000 per year of incarceration.</p><p>On WBEZ&rsquo;s sister station Vocalo, we learned from Indiana exoneree <a href="http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=4085">Kristine Bunch</a> and newly released prisoner Jennifer Del Prete<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/exoneree-diaries/commentary-exoneree-movement-leaving-women-behind-110206"> what unique struggles women face</a> as they reenter their communities after a wrongful incarceration.</p><p>Over the past year, the series was spotlighted alongside famed innocence champion Barry Scheck at Loyola University. The Illinois Humanities Council invited us to speak at the Chicago Cultural Center and Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools program hosted us at Northwestern University School of Law. Exoneree Diaries also served as a backdrop to a panel of women exonerees at the international Innocence Network conference in April 2014. As the series came to a close, the Online News Association selected Exoneree Diaries as a finalist for an Online Journalism Award, one of the highest honors in the field.</p><p>On a national scale, we have learned a lot about wrongful convictions this year, thanks to researchers at the National Registry of Exonerations. The highlights:</p><ul><li><a href="http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/1438491/60b961faeb/546806695/58c46ec68e/">One out of five known exonerations</a> is for a crime that never happened</li><li>About<a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/111/20/7230.abstract"> 4 percent of people</a> on death row are likely innocent</li><li>The<a href="https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/ExonerationsContribFactorsByCrime.aspx"> leading contributing factor</a> to wrongful convictions is perjury or false accusations (56 percent, or more than half of exonerations)</li><li>Among<a href="https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/news.aspx"> female exonerees</a>, 63 percent of female exonerees were convicted of crimes that never occurred, three times the rate for men. &nbsp;</li></ul><p>Across the country, we also saw significant reforms in the area of prosecutorial ethics this year. For the first time,<a href="http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/jail-time-may-be-least-ken-anderson%E2%80%99s-problems"> a prosecutor was sent to jail</a> for his direct involvement in wrongfully convicting an innocent man in 1987.</p><p>The Dallas County District Attorney&rsquo;s Office has continued to lead the way in showing how prosecutors are supposed to get it right. In July, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins exonerated a former prisoner through his office&rsquo;s own systematic DNA review of old evidence. It was<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/24/dallas-mans-exoneration-makes-national-history/13040299/"> the first exoneration of its kind</a>. In 2007, this was the first prosecutors&rsquo; office to open a conviction integrity unit to review old cases. Now it&rsquo;s become a national model for other projects, and the<a href="http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/26512823/us-attorney-in-the-district-creates-post-conviction-integrity-unit"> U.S. Attorney&rsquo;s Office in D.C. recently announced</a> it will soon have the first federal conviction integrity unit in the country.</p><p>Where we have yet to see much progress is in the area of compensation. <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/06/16/320356084/when-innocent-people-go-to-prison-states-pay">There remains no system</a> to fairly and consistently compensate innocent people.</p><p>As this entry marks the 50th and final installment of Exoneree Diaries, we end this media experiment as we began, by breaking form. Journalists are generally discouraged from thanking their sources, but we must express gratitude to the exonerees &ndash; Antione, Jacques and James &ndash; who anchored this project with their stories.</p><p>These three men made themselves vulnerable to us, digging deep for their most painful memories. Along the way, they revealed an unfortunate reality. They showed us that after a wrongful conviction, release from prison is not the victory it is perceived to be. It is, in fact, just the beginning of another dark narrative seldom told.</p><p>In telling that story, or trying to, we have often asked how these exonerees can ever be made whole. Antione, Jacques and James have answered that question for us: They won&rsquo;t. They can&rsquo;t. They can never make up for lost time. They can only move forward.</p><p>&ldquo;It is a burden, and it continues to haunt you,&rdquo; Antione said.</p><p>So the question becomes, how will the U.S. justice system exonerate itself of its crimes against innocent people?</p></p> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/exoneree-diaries/exoneree-diaries-series-closes-how-can-system-ever-repay-falsely-imprisoned Exoneree Diaries: Antione helps as his son learns a hard lesson http://www.wbez.org/series/exoneree-diaries/exoneree-diaries-antione-helps-his-son-learns-hard-lesson-110528 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/antione_0_0_1_1.png" alt="" /><p><p><em>&ldquo;It was a secret from me that he even got in trouble. If they had told me from the beginning, I would have told him don&rsquo;t talk to no police and make no statement. Cuz they&rsquo;ll use it against him.&rdquo;</em><br /><br /><strong>ANTIONE&rsquo;S SON NEEDED</strong> a lawyer.</p><p>Krishon, a senior football player at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Okla., was weeks away from graduating in 2013, when he and four other teammates faced criminal charges.</p><p>They had faked robberies as an April Fool&rsquo;s Day prank on their friends.</p><p>Fingerprinted, Krishon was incredulous &ndash; how did he get here?</p><p>When Antione was shuttled off to prison two decades earlier, Krishon was a tot. When Antione was released, Krishon had just finished the eighth grade.</p><p>Over the years, Krishon had never really known why his father was in prison, let alone the circumstances of his wrongful conviction. And when Antione won his freedom, he didn&rsquo;t reveal much more to his son, except to warn him to be careful, to not get himself into any situations.</p><p>Almost ten years later, Krishon was in a situation.</p><p>&ldquo;I found out in the eleventh hour,&rdquo; Antione said after learning of Krishon&rsquo;s arrest and suspension from school. &ldquo;I want him to learn something from this. When I talk to him, I&rsquo;m the old man. But when you&rsquo;re in hot water, when your ass is on the line, then you call Superman.&rdquo;</p><p>In the early morning hours of April 2, after a series of innocuous pranks all day, Krishon and four friends, decided to scare their friends. They dressed in dark clothing and covered their faces with masks fashioned from a pillow case.<br /><br />They were black. The city of Durant, mostly white. The targets of their prank &ndash; first, other teammates. But later on, their white girlfriends.<br /><br />The young men banged on doors, busted in, yelled and pretended their cell phones were guns so convincingly that police reported one of the victims (a friend) saying he saw two 9 mm handguns, black in color.</p><p>There were no guns, and no one was physically harmed. But the girls were terrified.</p><p>&ldquo;Maybe other people could get away with pretending to be criminals, black people can&rsquo;t do it. It was a big deal down here,&rdquo; a local minister told Chicago Sun-Times writer Mary Mitchell, who covered the story after the NAACP sued Southeastern Oklahoma State University for its handling of the case.<br /><br />After a police investigation ensued, along with rumors about what had really happened, the five players turned themselves in.<br /><br />&ldquo;You tried to scare little white girls&rdquo; is what Krishon says an officer told them during their interview.</p><p>The officer also memorialized the statement in his report, albeit with a different tone: &ldquo;When speaking to one of the parties above I asked if he knew that he scared a lot of young ladies with the prank. He laughed and said it wouldn&#39;t have been funny if they wouldn&#39;t have been. He said it was just a prank taken too far.&rdquo;</p><p>Krishon had long tried to stay out of trouble, and above all, he never wanted to do time like his father.</p><p>&ldquo;I feel stupid for putting myself in a situation where I had to go to jail because I told myself I never would,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>After their suspension from the university, the students appealed. It seemed ill-fated from the start. Krishon overheard a board member say to a professor that &ldquo;he would have shot them if they had<br />knocked on his door.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, the district attorney for the 19th District of Oklahoma wanted to prosecute. Antione paid for a lawyer.<br /><br />Months later, the players were offered several plea deals. Krishon rejected all of them. But when his mom started talking about getting a new lawyer, he decided it was time to take the punishment and move on.<br /><br />The students ended up with about a month of jail time, part of a 90-day sentence, plus three years of probation and a couple thousand dollars in court fees.</p><p>Jail was about what Krishon had imagined. He felt angry, as he had imagined. He worked odd jobs, as he had imagined. The guards were on a power trip, as he had imagined.</p><p>&ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t something I&rsquo;d ever do again,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Krishon left jail with about a semester of college to redo. He would have to finish his business marketing degree somewhere else.</p><p>Until then, he would earn a paycheck as a counselor at a fitness center and use his athletic expertise to help people get in shape.</p><p>And every month, as his court fees would come due, he would pay up and feel mad at himself all over again.</p></p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/exoneree-diaries/exoneree-diaries-antione-helps-his-son-learns-hard-lesson-110528 Exoneree Diaries: 'Take it one block at a time' http://www.wbez.org/series/exoneree-diaries/exoneree-diaries-take-it-one-block-time-110480 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/antione_0_0_1_0.png" alt="" /><p><p><em>&ldquo;This is my neighborhood. I grew up here. I know everybody. I know the kids, The people in the community, the stakeholders, kind of respect me because I&rsquo;m active. You don&rsquo;t have drug deals on the corner right here. You don&rsquo;t have none of that because even the guys in the street respect me. Because it just ain&rsquo;t going to happen. Sometimes you have to put your foot down. I ain&rsquo;t the damn police neither.&rdquo;</em></p><p>Antione walked past his childhood home. His stepdad still lived there.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re naming the block after my mom,&rdquo; he mentioned.</p><p>Brick bungalows lined the street. Signs with big red X&rsquo;s marked the homes that were empty, a warning to firefighters that the structure could collapse.</p><p>Antione couldn&rsquo;t take two steps in Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood without getting stopped by acquaintances. He spent most of his time there, fixing up old properties in the year since his wife and kids moved out of their four-bedroom home in Villa Park, about a half hour away.</p><p>&ldquo;How you doing? You alright?&rdquo; Antione called over to a neighbor.</p><p>At an intersection, Antione halted in his tracks and smiled as a man named Johnny stopped his car and jumped out to greet him, leaving his car in the middle of the road.</p><p>Johnny, a weathered short man, walked toward Antione. His blue pearlescent studded boots clicked on the pavement.</p><p>They exchanged pleasantries as another friend, whom Antione had gone to kindergarten with more than 40 years ago, drove past them. Now, the neighborhood&rsquo;s underpopulated schools were targets for closure. The Chicago Teachers Union had been rallying all week.</p><p>Johnny&rsquo;s face turned somber as he talked to Antione, mid-road.</p><p>&ldquo;When I decide to change, I mean it,&rdquo; Johnny told him, peering past his ball cap. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t wanna be like I used to. You know, man? It&rsquo;s scary.&rdquo;</p><p>Johnny had spent the last two months living in a community house.</p><p>&ldquo;I became a criminal in the house,&rdquo; he said, shaking his head. &ldquo;You ever become a criminal in a house where you at, where you trying to stay clean?&rdquo;</p><p>Antione, averse to substances, couldn&rsquo;t relate. He had a drug arrest on his record, prior to his wrongful conviction, but says the stuff was planted because he was mouthing off to police.</p><p>&ldquo;One of the reasons I&rsquo;m wanting to do that house is guys like yourself that are trying to change and better themselves,&rdquo; Antione said about the Life After Justice building. &ldquo;Find it difficult when you living with people that&rsquo;s not trying to change.&rdquo;</p><p>Johnny had been on disability since 1989, he said, and it wasn&rsquo;t enough for him to live on.</p><p>&ldquo;I mean disability is only nothing,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I need more than that! C&rsquo;mon, you can&rsquo;t make it! I want to get off disability and work!&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;And you can,&rdquo; Antione said. &nbsp;&ldquo;But can you work? What kind of work would you do?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s a good question,&rdquo; Johnny shook his head. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;So you need to think about that,&rdquo; Antoine told him.</p><p>A kid emerged from around Johnny&rsquo;s parked car and asked Antione for a light.</p><p>&ldquo;No.&rdquo;</p><p>The kid walked away.</p><p>&ldquo;He wants a light so he can light a joint. These kids is crazy,&rdquo; Antoine said, turning back to Johnny.</p><p>They talked about rising up and changing the neighborhood.</p><p>&ldquo;Take it one block at a time,&rdquo; Antoine said.</p><p>&ldquo;You and me, we walk together.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Alright, bra&rsquo;, take care of yourself, man!&rdquo;</p><p>Johnny got back in his car and drove off. Antione lapped the corner and walked to the prospective Life After Justice property, a temporary house that Antione hoped to live in when the organization found a permanent spot. &nbsp;He hired a few guys to help him out.</p><p>Inside the house, patches of hardwood peeped through construction scraps and a tarp covering the kitchen and common area.</p><p>&ldquo;We have beautiful wood floors,&rdquo; he explained.&rdquo; I just left this down so they don&rsquo;t scuff them all up.&rdquo;</p><p>He planned to sand and revarnish the floors and doors then paint the walls. Antione had a friend who worked for a paint company and brought him some free cans.</p><p>&ldquo;A bed there, a bed there, a bed there,&rdquo; Antione pointed to different angles of the same small bedroom.</p><p>The kitchen would be a popular spot, as many guys coming out of prison have learned how to cook for the masses. Antione would assign somebody to cook meals for the exonerees because he didn&rsquo;t believe in having everybody cooking and using the kitchen at once. It&rsquo;s dangerous and unclean, he said.</p><p>Downstairs, music from a boom box blared, and a pot full of wet dog food sat on the ground &ndash; for Hannibal, Antione&rsquo;s dog who had one blue eye and liked to tear holes in the wall when he wasn&rsquo;t chained in the backyard.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;ve had to repair the same spot twice,&rdquo; Antione said.</p><p>Bedrooms connected to bedrooms. One room would be his. It was dark and dusty. He envisioned a Jacuzzi tub all to himself.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m by myself now,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t need no three-bedroom house no more.&rdquo;</p><p>His young kids, when they visited, would stay in the connecting rooms, what used to be the house&rsquo;s boiler room. One side for the little girl, one side for the two boys. He needed to tear down a wall to open up the space and rip out the cedar cabinets, saving them for the kitchen.</p><p>Antione had hoped the temporary Life After Justice house would be ready before the 11<sup>th</sup> anniversary of his release from prison. But the crew had gone too slowly, he said, despite pushing his guys to finish on time.</p><p>&ldquo;I wanted to prove to Laura that I could do this in 30 days, 60 days,&rdquo; he sighed. &ldquo;It can happen.&rdquo;</p><p>Then, another setback. Someone had stolen all the wiring in the house. He knew who had done it and confronted the guy.</p><p>&ldquo;Told him I didn&rsquo;t have it,&rdquo; Antione said. &ldquo;He brought it back.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 07:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/exoneree-diaries/exoneree-diaries-take-it-one-block-time-110480 Exoneree Diaries: Journey to a 'Life after Justice' home http://www.wbez.org/series/exoneree-diaries/exoneree-diaries-journey-life-after-justice-home-110389 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Capture_11.PNG" alt="" /><p><p><em>&ldquo;Being an exoneree you have no opportunity for training, you have no programs set in place for you. Programs are not available for exonerees as of right now, but there are plans, and we pushing it through to try to make things happen for exonerees today. But when I came home there were no programs at all for the exonerees, so that&rsquo;s one of the things we really fighting for with Life After Justice and Life After Innocence.&rdquo;</em></p><p><strong>&ldquo;ANTIONE CAN BE A LITTLE BIT</strong> of a dreamer,&rdquo; says Brad Lorden. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s one of the things I love most about him.&rdquo;</p><p>In 2012, Brad was finishing up as a law and business student at Loyola University when he put together a small business plan for Life After Justice, the organization Antione and fellow exoneree Jarrett Adams had talked about starting.&nbsp;</p><p>Antione&rsquo;s vision had long been in place. It started ten years earlier in those first steps of freedom outside of Cook County Jail as he wore another man&rsquo;s clothes without any place to go.</p><p>For Jarrett, an incoming law student, it was the not-so-distant memories of sleeping on his mother&rsquo;s sofa and, like Antione, being turned down for jobs because of his incarceration for a wrongful conviction.</p><p>The pair wanted to help other exonerees become self-sufficient, first by giving them a place to lay their heads at night in a residence shared with other exonerees &ndash; the Life After Justice house. Job training would come later, when the exonerees were ready, Antione and Jarrett thought.</p><p>But how the organization would become self-sustaining was another question, especially in a house that would incur expenses like property taxes and supplies.</p><p>So Brad and some business classmates took on the project. At the end of the semester, they presented their business plan to Antione and Jarrett at Loyola&rsquo;s Water Tower campus in Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;They were excited to see it becoming more of a reality,&rdquo; Brad, now a board member at Life After Justice, remembers. &ldquo;They were both moved that we put so much time and energy into it.&rdquo;</p><p>The students proposed that Life After Justice provide a grace period to exonerees first entering the house where they could live rent free. Then, after a set period of time, the house would expect them to contribute back through a particular job. The exoneree could supply a small amount of rent to help pay the monthly expenses of the house.</p><p>They also figured that there might not always be a steady stream of exonerees coming into the house, so Life After Justice could then open up the place to parolees. This was a natural move for Antione, who mentored former prisoners for his day job at the community center.</p><p>After the students finished their presentation, the entire class rose to its feet upon learning Jarrett would be entering law school in the fall.</p><p>&ldquo;It was nice,&rdquo; Jarrett says of the standing ovation. &ldquo;It was one of them things that made me realize just how far I had [come].&rdquo;<br /><br />About eight months later, the organization was given 501(c) 3 tax-status approval. Jarrett had his first semester of law school under his belt, collecting media nods, and Antione kept fixing up a cousin&rsquo;s place while setting his sights on another potential property for the Life After Justice house.</p><p><strong>&ldquo;IS THIS MR. DAY?</strong>&rdquo; Jarrett asked into the speaker phone, pretending to be a telemarketer as law professor Laura Caldwell stood next to him, fiddling around with the conference call set up as Brad walked in the room to join.</p><p>&ldquo;Yes, it is.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;How are you doing today, sir?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Doing well,&rdquo; Antione said, tentatively.</p><p>Jarrett burst out laughing: &ldquo;I&rsquo;m just messing! C&rsquo;mon man, you know my voice.&rdquo;</p><p>Jarrett, coming from work, was dressed in a purple and white checkered shirt, topped with a black sweater &ndash; business casual to his classmates&rsquo; plain casual student garb. As students settled in around a conference table, Jarrett sat at the head of it.&nbsp; Laura&rsquo;s weekly, workshop-style class engaged law students in a clinic to aid exonerees for her organization, Life After Innocence. One of the class projects was to provide support to Life After Justice.</p><p>Jarrett had become the face of Loyola&rsquo;s law school, Life After Innocence and now his own organization. At times he just wanted to be known as Jarrett, rather than an exoneree-turned-law student, but he also felt a responsibility to share his story to those who would listen. Laura showed him a picture of himself for a story about finishing his first year of law school.</p><p>&ldquo;My teeth are white!&rdquo; he laughed.</p><p>Jarrett was ready to get to work. On the class agenda: a planning call with Antione to discuss next steps for Life After Justice.</p><p>On the line, Antione could be heard still at work, preparing for his Wednesday night support group for ex-offenders.</p><p>&ldquo;Let the man in the wheelchair sign in first,&rdquo; Antione said to the support group attendees, as Laura&rsquo;s class listened to his conversation. &ldquo;Everyone sign in.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s the king of multi-tasking,&rdquo; Laura chuckled.</p><p>The class waited for him to wrap up, chatting and Google-chatting, akin to passing notes, across the conference table.</p><p>Antione returned to the conference call. They talked through what logo to pick &ndash; should they go with the one showing prison bars or with something else more forward-thing, they asked &ndash; then moved on discuss the status of the house. Antione was juggling two properties. One of them might become the house, at least temporarily.</p><p>&ldquo;We got to start somewhere,&rdquo; Antione said. &ldquo;We can start downtown in Trump Towers for all I care.&rdquo;</p><p>The students loaded Antione with questions: How long should exonerees stay before paying rent? How many units will be in the house? How many beds?</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got a roomful of lawyers here, so we&rsquo;re just making sure we&rsquo;re dotting the I&rsquo;s and crossing the T&rsquo;s,&rdquo; Laura assured Antione.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m definitely not frustrated,&rdquo; Antione said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited!&rdquo;</p><p>The class went through potential zoning issues and real estate questions. Jarrett interrupted the discussion and reminded everyone of the mission.</p><p>&ldquo;My goal is to pull other people through the window I came through,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We win if we have one Antione Day.&rdquo;</p><p>Less than two weeks later, on a windy April day, Jarrett, Antione and Laura (and her dog Shafer), posed for a photo in front of a boarded-up brick home in Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood, close to Antione&rsquo;s childhood home. Antione wore sunglasses to shield his eyes from the gusty cold. Laura&rsquo;s red hair whipped around as she held Shafer close. Shafer wore a scarf.</p><p>Jarrett captioned the photo in big cursive letters, time-stamping it and sharing it on social media: &ldquo;Life After Justice House.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/exoneree-diaries/exoneree-diaries-journey-life-after-justice-home-110389