22
November , 2017
Wednesday

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A highly successful and unique alternative prosecution program created by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for first time felony offenders will now be used as a model for such programs by prosecutors across the State of Illinois, according to State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. 

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a new state law that will enable prosecutors throughout Illinois to develop their own alternative programs based on the Cook County’s State’s Attorney’s Deferred Prosecution Program.   

The program offers non-violent, first-time felony offenders the opportunity to voluntarily enroll in the year-long diversion program instead of facing possible incarceration or traditional probation.  The offender must meet specific requirements such as making restitution for their crime, holding a job or performing community service, attending educational classes to receive a GED or vocational training and, when appropriate, receiving substance abuse treatment.

“I think that prosecutors can play an important role in implementing new alternative sentencing measures like this that not only bring just results, but also provide non-violent offenders with a second chance,” said Alvarez. “We have been extremely pleased with the results of our Deferred Prosecution Program and we are very proud that the governor and the Illinois Legislature have seen fit to use it as a model for prosecutorial-based diversion programming across the state.”

If the offender successfully completes the intensive program, the State’s Attorney can request a dismissal of the charges and the offender can pursue expungement of the charge and avoid the enormous burden of having a felony conviction on his or her record.

Since it was launched in Cook County in 2011, 645 individuals have participated in the program with 257 successfully completing it. County officials estimate that nearly $1.1 million in taxpayer funds have been saved due to reduced court and incarceration costs.

SB 3349 gives all Illinois state’s attorneys the authority to launch their own deferred prosecutions program as well as granting them the ability to tailor it to the needs of their own jurisdictions. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kimberly du Buclet (D-Chicago) and was signed by Governor Quinn this past August.

Quinn and Alvarez were joined by several of the law’s sponsors and supporters including Rep. Kimberly du Buclet, Sen. Mattie Hunter, Rep. Monique Davis, Rep. Mary Flowers, Rep. Arthur Turner, Jr., Justice Marcus Salone, and John Fairman, president of the Cook County Bar Association.

 

 

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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