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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, May 24, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Cook County plans to replace juvenile detention center with smaller ‘centers of care’. Injustice Watch

Cook County officials plan to drastically reduce the size of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, the nation’s largest juvenile jail, long criticized for its inhumane treatment and ineffective care of vulnerable kids, and replace it with community-based treatment centers.

The plans, which have the backing of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans, call for downsizing the five-story detention center on Chicago’s West Side and replacing it with “centers of care,” which would be semi-secure facilities to house youths who judges deem can’t be released to their homes, according to a proposal submitted for a federal grant to support the effort.

Officials plan to repurpose the JTDC, which currently houses nearly 200 teenagers in single-occupancy cells, into “less traumatizing dormitory-style conditions” for the fewer than 50 youths expected to require secure detention. By the end of next year, the footprint of the more than 600,000-square-foot detention center is expected to shrink by 60%, according to the plans, which Injustice Watch obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The move would be the most significant reform to juvenile detention in Cook County since the JTDC was released from federal court oversight nearly a decade ago and would put Cook County at the forefront of a nationwide push to reduce the incarceration of young people.

*** Isabel’s Top Picks ***

* AP | The Justice Department is suing Ticketmaster and Live Nation. What does that mean for concertgoers?: The lawsuit could potentially lead to a breakup of Live Nation Entertainment, a company that resulted from Ticketmaster’s 2010 merger with concert promoter Live Nation. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the aim is to allow more competition and to let smaller players gain more of the U.S. ticket-selling market — which Ticketmaster controls a whopping 70% of. More competition could lead to cheaper tickets. But experts say live event lovers shouldn’t expect changes any time soon.

* Tribune | Illinois fails to protect immigrant victims of crime, report finds: The report released Thursday reveals widespread violations by the state’s law enforcement agencies of an act that attempts to provide greater access to protections for immigrants who are victims of crime or human trafficking. Amid a migrant crisis in Chicago in which over 42,000 people have arrived in the city in nearly two years sent on buses from the southern border, the report shines a light on an intractable problem: that some will inevitably be victims of crime but won’t rely on police or law enforcement agencies for support because they’re worried they will face trouble with the law for their immigration status.

*** Statehouse News ***

* Pantagraph | Quantum leap? Pritzker’s tax incentive proposal moving forward in state legislature: The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, sailed through the House on a bipartisan 98-14 vote on Wednesday. It heads to the Senate, where it could be considered later this week. In addition to quantum, the package bolsters a menu of existing economic development initiatives, such as the state’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit, its program targeting electric vehicle manufacturers and suppliers and its research and development tax credit.

* WSIU | Area lawmakers remain vigilant on a plan prioritizing the wellbeing of Choate residents: Members of the Illinois Senate stated that the cameras are working as intended, but there is room for further oversight and improvement to ensure those housed at Choate are protected. They add management must do more to create an environment where employees have no reason to fear retaliation for reporting cases of abuse.

* Tribune | Ahead of Memorial Day, Illinois treasurer seeks to return a dozen unclaimed Purple Heart medals: The medals were submitted to the treasurer’s office through its unclaimed property program, but their stories remain shrouded in mystery. A Purple Heart is awarded to those who are killed or wounded in service. “These Purple Hearts are priceless. You can’t put a price tag on them,” Frerichs said at a news conference Thursday morning. “We’re not going to stop until we get them back into the rightful owners’ hands.”

*** Chicago ***

* Crain’s | Shootings in Chicago are concentrated in the summer, yes. That’s only part of the story.: A new analysis from the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab found that more than a third of annual shootings in Chicago happened in the summer, with July alone accounting for 12% of the year’s incidents. Those shootings are not only concentrated in the summer months, they overwhelmingly impact a small geographic region of the city. Read the Crime Lab’s full findings below. […] Of those nearly 7,000 grids mapped across the city, 10% of them accounted for 58% of annual shooting incidents across the five-year period. Those numbers worsened when examining summer shooting incidents, with 10% of the grids accounting for 64% of those shootings. Neighborhoods in the South and West sides accounted for the highest share of shootings.

* CBS Chicago | Crowds to head to Chicago’s Grant Park as Sueños Music Festival kicks off summertime: Sueños, Spanish for dreams, first debuted in Grant Park back in 2022. It has already become one of the largest Latin music festivals in the United States. About 80,000 fans turned out last year. This year, 130,000 are expected.

* Sun-Times | NASCAR Chicago Street Race is the focus of Chicago History Museum pop-up exhibit: Visitors to the Chicago History Museum will be able to relive last year’s NASCAR Chicago Street Race weeks before the roar of engines echoes through downtown as the race returns to the city for the second consecutive year. The museum, 1601 N. Clark St., hosted a preview of its NASCAR Chicago Street Race Experience pop-up exhibit on Thursday ahead of its public opening Friday.

* Block Club | Lollapalooza Releases 2024 Schedule: The annual Chicago fest released its schedule Thursday with individual set times, allowing attendees to start mapping out their Lolla stage-viewing plans. The detailed lineup includes headliners SZA, Tyler, the Creator, blink-182, The Killers, Future x Metro Boomin, Hozier, Stray Kids, Melanie Martinez and Skrillex.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Sun-Times | Did the Kane County sheriff’s office blow a chance to arrest suspect hours before killing him?: That’s what family and friends of Jim Moriarty want to know. He was shot to death by sheriff’s deputies on May 24, 2023, after a carjacking and chase and repeated comments about “suicide by cop” amid what people close to him called a mental health breakdown. Records say the sheriff’s office “compromised” a stakeout in Aurora a day earlier aimed at bringing him in safely.

* Daily Herald | Wait and see regarding concerns over District 128 superintendent, new initiatives: As seniors from Libertyville and Vernon Hills high schools graduated Thursday to their next chapters, they leave behind a district also facing an uncertain future with new initiatives and the 293-member teachers union voting “no confidence” in the superintendent. Parents and community members also had a lot to say regarding educational initiatives planned for the 2024-25 school year during a six-hour Libertyville-Vernon Hills High School District 128 school board meeting held in the Vernon Hills High School gym.

*** Downstate ***

* 23 News Now | Correctional workers union criticizes plan to relocate Lincoln prison, residents worry about potential closure: AFSCME Council 31, the union representing the state’s prison workers, has released a report opposing the Illinois Department of Corrections’ proposal to relocate the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln. Another report released in April suggested the building be closed and rebuilt in Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, a Chicago suburb.

* Fox 2 Now | Madison County Jail adds golden retriever to staff: Madison County Sheriff Jeff Connor has added a new sergeant to the staff: Doug, a one-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever. Inmate Justin Baker was in jail before Doug joined the staff. Though jail is still nowhere Baker wants to be, he says interacting with Doug and being able to pet him takes the edge off from not being able to leave.

* Intelligencer | Illinois governor attends celebration for new Madison County Transit building:
The new MCT site is a two-story, 26,416-square-foot building just south of West Chain of Rocks Road. The new site houses administration, human resources, marketing and communications, accounting procurement, information technology, engineering and planning and capital projects. Building amenities include a state-of-the-art boardroom, a new video surveillance system and access control system for the building and grounds in addition to a new bus pull-off and shelter.

*** National ***

* AP | Who gets paid? How much? What to know about the landmark NCAA settlement: The plan, which still needs approval from plaintiffs and a federal judge, calls for paying damages to thousands of former and current college athletes who say now-defunct NCAA rules prevented them from earning endorsement money. It also calls for setting up a first-of-its-kind revenue-sharing system for college athletes, which will impact hundreds of schools across the country as early as fall 2025.


  1. - H-W - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 8:19 am:

    Re: NCAA Settlement

    It seems most people are missing the point. Most universities lose money on sports. Most. Gates across all sports are less than the cost of opening the gates.

    Most regional state universities do not have enough money to pay student athletes. As a result, there will always be very much larger group of student athletes attending secondary universities for the sole purpose of transferring to another university to get paid.

    I predict there will be a much larger number of students going forward, who enroll in universities in the fall, play ball, and then transfer - without passing classes.

    I predict there will be a dramatic increase in the number of student athletes misled by coaches, family and friends who game the education system, rather than pursuing education and realistic career paths.

    After all, there are no more player slots in the professional sports. The same number as in the past will become professionals. But with more people pursuing sport-for-pay, fewer will graduate.

    They simply become actors for us to watch on Saturday, and then disappear on Monday - Friday in the gym, rather than the classroom.

    Lest you think this hyperbola, I suggest it has already begun at the regional universities.

  2. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 8:29 am:

    “In addition to quantum, the package bolsters a menu of existing economic development initiatives”

    Would be great to have more incentives for businesses and new technology—all done without simultaneously keeping workers poorer like in anti-union states. Recently read a positive op-ed in Crain’s about Illinois’ improved business climate.

  3. - Back to the Future - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 9:03 am:

    On the new ideas on Juvenile programs, President Toni continues to show she is far and away the Best Executive Leader among our elected County and Illinois officials we have currently serving now or in the recent past.
    Hopefully as Chairperson of the Cook County Board and the Cook County Democratic Party she will play a major role at the National Democratic Convention in Chicago.

  4. - Stephanie Kollmann - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 10:11 am:

    Significantly more and better information about the plans for new youth jails would be available if the detention center, probation, and court administration were subject to FOIA.

    Garcia and Injustice Watch did an incredible job reporting this, under the circumstances.

  5. - Patti - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 10:27 am:

    Disagree, Back to the Future. Eileen O’Neill Burke’s election in March was a rebuke to Preckwinkle and Evans and their ideology. This move on juvenile centers shows those two have learned nothing from it.

  6. - Back to the Future - Friday, May 24, 24 @ 11:11 am:

    Appreciate where @Patti is coming from.
    That SA race was a tough one, and thinking Judge Murphy will be a very good SA for Cook County and will work will with the President of the Cook County Board.
    Coming from someone that is a life long Dem who has never worked for her in government, IMHO the Chairlady of our party started out as a teacher, independent Democratic Alderperson winning some very tough elections in a very diverse ward, and has really done a great job including all factions of the Dem Party in her administration. She has a long and impressive record in politics and an actual record of improving the party and government.
    The best face Illinois Democrats can put forward to the country at our convention is clearly President Toni.
    Not often that we have public leaders who are as intelligent, ethical and able to manage a government group like President Preckwinkle. Hopefully she will get the recognition from our National Dem leaders she has earned.

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