Cook County Prepares For First Restorative Justice Court
Cook County will soon become one of the few municipalities in the nation with a restorative justice court. Starting this summer, select North Lawndale residents from the age of 18 to 26 who are charged with nonviolent felonies or misdemeanors will have their cases heard in this alternative community court. Instead of a judge, they will meet with the victim of the crime and a panel of neighborhood residents who as a group will mete out a punishment that satisfies all parties and decide on what the next steps for the offender should be.
Morning Shift talks to Timothy Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, who has sought to bring restorative justice practices as well as Colleen Sheehan, a circuit judge in the county’s Juvenile Justice Division who will oversee the new court.