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CHICAGO, IL - Anime Central announced that LM.C will be Guests of Honor and performing ...
Civil Rights Activist Amelia Boynton Robinson was 104-years-old Calling Amelia Boynton Robinson "An American Hero", President ...
Web traffic to transition site indicates overwhelming interest from across the county      Following her election to ...
  BALTIMORE, MD -The NAACP released the following statement regarding the DOJ's decision to promote the ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following ...
A family practice physician has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for sexually assaulting ...
Race & Justice News From: The Sentencing Project   Incarceration Black Women Overrepresented in Solitary Confinement   A new report co-authored ...
  Detroit, MI (BlackNews.com) -- Award winning Actress Phylicia Rashad, will join ABC News Anchor John ...
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- In response to the recent 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court to ...
BALTIMORE, MD -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday ahead of ...

Archive for April 28th, 2016

Petition Calls For Transparent Chicago Police Oversight Committee After Study Finds Institutionalized Racism

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

A comprehensive study of Chicago PD found a biased and corrupt oversight committee meant to investigate officer offenses like police brutality – http://www.thepetitionsite.com/406/083/463/

CHICAGO, IL  —  A Care2 petition is calling for the removal of the Chicago Police Department’s inadequate police oversight committee, the Independent Police Review Authority. A 190-page report from the city’s Police Accountability Task Force found the committee, which oversees use of excessive force and police shootings, is biased in favor of police and does not evaluate all complaints. The task force recommended the implementation of a transparent, citizen-led committee to oversee police misconduct cases.

The Care2 petition calling for this new transparent oversight committee has gathered nearly 20,000 signatures.

VIEW THE CARE2 PETITION HERE: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/406/083/463/

“I live in Chicago and I can’t believe that this kind of police misconduct is going on without any consequences,” says Care2 petition author Kelsey Bourgeois.

The study, which was ordered by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, found institutionalized racism at all levels of police work in Chicago, and gave 76 recommendations for changes. Mayor Emanuel announced some changes, but ignored two-thirds of the recommendations and announced no changes to the oversight committee.

The Independent Police Review Authority was implemented following widespread outrage over the 2014 police killing of Laquan McDonald.

“CPD’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color,” the report read.

Just two weeks ago, 16-year-old African American Pierre Loury was shot and killed by police in Chicago.

Care2 (www.Care2.com) is a community of 34 million standing together for good. People are making world-changing impact with Care2, starting petitions and supporting each other’s campaigns to help individuals, animals and the environment. A pioneer of online advocacy since 1998, Care2 is a B Corporation, or social enterprise, using the power of business as a force for good.

Financial Experts and Social Service Providers Challenge State, Municipal, and CPS Payments to Wall Street Banks

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – On Wednesday, a set of financial experts and social service providers gave testimony before the Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee detailing how Wall Street banks have soaked all levels of government in Illinois for hundreds of millions of dollars through interest rate swaps and other complex financial deals.

“In essence the banks lured the state of Illinois into a suckers bet – heads I win, tails you lose,” stated Saqib Bhatti, Director of the ReFund America Project. “During the budget stalemate this year, while the Governor has refused to fund critical services, the state has nevertheless paid more than $92 million in fees to banks. $68 million of this money was for toxic swaps—the same toxic swaps that have drained more than a billion dollars out of the Chicago and CPS’s budgets.”

The panel of experts included: Saqib Bhatti, ReFund America, Greg Will, SEIU HCII, Jonathan Jackson, Business Professor at Chicago State University; Brad Miller, Former US Congressman; and Tom Sgouros, Senior Policy Advisor, Rhode Island General Treasurer.

The expert panel questioned the ability of local and state governments to win bets against savvy Wall Street bankers.

“The parties to an interest rate swap are each taking different sides of a bet. One party is betting that interest rates will rise, while the other is betting they will fall. Pricing risk is a tricky business. People write doctoral dissertations about it, and win Nobel prizes in Economics for figuring out the essential problems involved,” explained Sgouros.

“There are many other specific risks that the banks knew well and even the most sophisticated public issuers did not. The failure to disclose those risks seems very much like a realtor not telling a homebuyer that the basement floods,” added Miller.

In addition to the interest rate swaps the panel of experts pointed out the numerous add on fees that have continued to be paid during the budget impasse despite the lack of a budgetary authorization. “The state has paid banks and other finance industry companies for a litany of fees and charges: letters of credit, other credit enhancements, remarketing fees, trustee fees, ratings agency fees, fees to counsel, underwriter fees, fees associated with cash management functions – the list goes on,” explained Greg Will, Research Director for SEIU HCII.

Experts made clear that the state paying these fees without a budget was likely illegal, “What’s truly scandalous is that the Governor’s office is actually breaking the law to pay the banks. The state has paid more than $10.5 million in bank fees that have no budget authorization. These are illegal payments,” said Saqib Bhatti.

Prioritizing payments to Wall Street banks over human service providers is having a devastating impact on the social service infrastructure in Illinois. Inspiration Corporation, an agency that provides job training and employment placement, supportive housing, meals, and other services to Chicago’s homeless and low-income residents has had to lay off staff and reduce services as a result of late payments from the state.

Evan Cauble-Johnson, Chief Development Officer at Inspiration Corporation explained during the hearing, “Study after study has shown that the cost of providing supportive housing to the homeless is a fraction of the cost of relying on emergency services like policing, emergency medical care, or incarceration.  If we do not preserve supportive housing for our most vulnerable neighbors now, if we choose to direct the money that we have towards interest payments on risky loans instead of on vital services to our most vulnerable neighbors and fellow citizens, not only do we fail the people that need our support the most, we fail ourselves.  We will pay for this choice down the road.  There is no avoiding it.”

Wyeth and Pfizer Agree to Pay $784.6 Million to Resolve Lawsuit Alleging that Wyeth Underpaid Drug Rebates to Medicaid

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

BOSTON – United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz announced that drug companies Wyeth and Pfizer, Inc., have agreed to pay $784.6 million to resolve allegations that Wyeth failed to give the government the same discounts it provided to private purchasers of its drugs, as required by the Medicaid program.

“This significant settlement illustrates that the government will not permit drug companies to dodge their obligations to the Medicaid program or create elaborate pricing schemes to deceive Medicaid into paying more than it should for drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Ortiz.  “This settlement, after years of hard-fought litigation, shows our commitment to ensuring that healthcare businesses do not take advantage of the federal health insurance programs which serve those who need assistance most.”

“This settlement demonstrates our unwavering commitment to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for pursuing pricing schemes that attempt to manipulate and overcharge federal health care programs – programs that protect the poor and disabled – for drugs sold to commercial customers at much lower prices,” said Principal Deputy Attorney General Benjamin Mizer, head of the Civil Division for the Department of Justice.

“When we make agreements with others we expect follow-through,” said Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge with the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  “Similarly, taxpayers rightly expect large pharmaceutical companies will not falsely report prices to boost profits.  Any drug company shirking those responsibilities can expect to be held accountable for its deception.”

According to the government’s complaint, Wyeth gave thousands of hospitals deep discounts on two of its proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs, Protonix Oral and Protonix IV, but failed to report those discounts to Medicaid.  The government alleged that Wyeth “bundled” discounts on Protonix Oral with discounts on Protonix IV in order to induce hospitals to use Protonix Oral, which hospitals otherwise would have had little incentive to use because other pre-existing oral PPI drugs were priced competitively and were considered to be at least as effective and safe.  Wyeth wanted to control the hospital market because patients discharged from the hospital on Protonix Oral were likely to stay on the drug for long periods of time, during which payers, including Medicaid, would pay nearly full price for the drug.

Under the Medicaid program, which is the nation’s provider of health insurance to the poor and disabled, drug companies must report to the government the best prices they offer other customers for their brand name drugs.  Based on these reported best prices, the drug companies pay rebates to the state Medicaid programs so that Medicaid receives the same discounts that drug companies offer to other large customers in the marketplace.

Under the terms of today’s settlement, Wyeth will pay $413,248,820 to the federal government and $371,351,180 to state Medicaid programs.  The settlement resolves allegations filed by two whistleblowers, Lauren Kieff and William St. John LaCorte.  See United States ex rel. Kieff and LaCorte v. Wyeth and Pfizer, Inc., Nos. 03-12366 and 06-11724-DPW (D. Mass.).  The False Claims Act permits private parties to sue on behalf of the government for false claims for government funds and to receive a share of any recovery.  Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the federal and state governments will pay a combined relator share of $98,058,190.

As part of the settlement, Wyeth and Pfizer do not deny the government’s allegations.  Pfizer, which is headquartered in New York City, acquired Wyeth in 2009.  The conduct at issue occurred prior to the acquisition.

This settlement is part of the government’s ongoing initiative to combat health care fraud, and specifically to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid fraud.  One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act.  Since the beginning of the 2016 fiscal year, the District of Massachusetts has recovered over $1 billion in health care fraud settlements on behalf of American taxpayers, and simultaneously has secured the payment of over $150 million to whistleblowers who initiated these matters.  For more information, see Warner Chilcott, Millennium Health, RehabCare, Coloplast Corp., and Boston Medical Center.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregg Shapiro, Brian Pérez-Daple, and Kriss Basil of Ortiz’s Office and Justice Department Trial Attorneys Sanjay Bhambhani, Andy Mao, Zoila Hinson, and Christopher Terranova of the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch.

Source: FBI

 

Senator Kirk Hosts Human Rights Caucus Event on Boko Haram’s Continued Terror in Northern Africa

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Militant Group Pledged Allegiance to ISIS in 2015; Responsible for 51% of Terrorism Deaths Worldwide in 2014

219 of Kidnapped Chibok Girls Still Missing – U.S. Pledged $40 Million in Humanitarian Aid Last Week

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Co-Chair of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, hosted a briefing to examine the human rights ramifications of Boko Haram’s ongoing campaign of terror throughout northern Africa and the group’s ties to the Islamic State. Kaj Larsen, former Navy SEAL and award-winning journalist for VICE News and Mausi Segun, a Nigeria researcher for Human Rights Watch participated in the panel to discuss the ongoing military operations and the challenges faced by military personnel throughout the region, the use of young girls as suicide bombers, and the impact of the conflict on future generations. Hilary Matfess, a Research Analyst for the Center for Complex Operations at the National Defense University moderated the panel and offered her own analysis of the security and humanitarian challenges posed by Boko Haram. 

Boko Haram is a Nigeria-based Islamic terrorist group that also conducts attacks in Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. They are responsible for the kidnapping of 276 girls from Chibok in 2014, 219 of whom are still missing. In addition to the missing girls, thousands more have been victimized by Boko Haram, and have been forced into domestic and sex slavery. Countless more women and girls have been forced to become brides for ISIS fighters and Boko Haram leaders. Since May 2013, 2.3 million people have been displaced by Boko Haram-related violence, including 1.3 million children.  In a visit to the region last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power pledged $40 million in humanitarian assistance to help those who have been displaced or affected by the group’s violence.

“Boko Haram is forcing girls as young as eight years old to wear suicide vests and carry out bombings – these terrorists killed more people last year than the Islamic State,” said Senator Kirk. “Boko Haram is one of the deadliest terror groups in the world and is preventing an entire generation of children from accessing an education. It is critical that we continue to aid efforts to prevent these terrorists from hurting more families and killing more children.” 

“Having worked in conflict zones for a decade as both a U.S. Navy SEAL and a journalist in places like Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Burma, Colombia, Honduras, and others; Northern Nigeria stands out as one of the worst and most tragic humanitarian crisis I have ever seen,” said Kaj Larsen.

“The Boko Haram insurgency has not only claimed more than 30,000 lives, but has also created a humanitarian catastrophe in the Lake Chad Basin; it is the international community’s duty to provide humanitarian care to the estimated 2.2 million displaced. At present, this community is neglected by the state and the international community, after suffering unspeakable violence at the hands of the insurgency. The US government has an opportunity to demonstrate compassionate global leadership by advocating for the rights of the displaced and providing much needed humanitarian assistance,” said Hilary Matfess.

The Senate Human Rights Caucus was formed by Senators Kirk and Chris Coons (D-Del.) in the spirit of The Congressional Human Rights Caucus, originally created by former Congressmen Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and John Porter (R-Ill.) in 1983. Later re-named the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, its members have been working to defend and advocate for internationally recognized human rights in a nonpartisan manner for more than 30 years. In this vein, the Senate Human Rights Caucus will continue the Commission’s legacy by highlighting and defending key human rights issues throughout the world.

In order to raise awareness on specific violations and issues, the Caucus hosts monthly staff-level briefings on key topics, as well as periodic Member-level events to boost awareness and spearhead solutions to worldwide injustices and abuses. In bringing Congressional-level attention to global human rights issues that the public may be unaware of, the Caucus will be able to provide a voice to the voiceless and work to provide a lifeline to those suffering at the hand of repressive regimes.

Chris Cleveland Re-elected Chairman of Chicago GOP

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Chris Cleveland, 43rd Ward Republican Committeeman, was re-elected Chairman of the Chicago Republican Party last night. The Republican ward committeemen in Chicago gathered in a conference room of a Loop law firm to select a chairman for a four-year term.

Cleveland won with 94% of the weighted vote, up from 74% when he was first elected a year ago to fill the unexpired term of his predecessor Adam Robinson.

Cleveland is credited with revitalizing the Party over the last few years, having led a team that recruited candidates across the city, raised money, and supported Governor Rauner’s effort to raise the Republican vote in Chicago in his successful 2014 campaign.

Real Men Cook’s 2016 Father’s Day Celebration Expands to 27 to Forward Mission

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Press conferenceReal Men Cook  — Chicago’s premiere urban Father’s Day charity event – will depart from past years’ formats by holding the much-anticipated event at 27 venues citywide/suburbanwide. These individual celebrations will be hosted by agencies and entities committed to the mission of Real Men. Partners will maintain the Father’s Day tradition created by Real Men Cook while incorporating their own style and traditions. All events will be held on Father’s Day, June 19, from 3-6PM.

Yvette Moyo and Kofi Moyo-co-founders of Real Men Cook and Rael Jackson, president, made the announcement during a press conference held at the South Side Community Art Center.  Some of the hosts/partners were in attendance to express their commitment as event and venue hosts. All shared their eagerness to be part of the new direction.

Ms. Moyo said that the new format would allow the event’s message to have a broader community reach as it expands the Father’s Day tradition of family and community food-fests.

Mr. Jackson said that the annual event would continue the legacy of shining a spotlight on the men and promote awareness of fathers who serve their families on a daily basis.  He also addressed the importance of Real Men Cook and declared that bringing families together for a meal is a powerful tool in strengthening the community.  He said there would be an effort to reach out to the homeless this year. He added that the 2016 celebration would include an aggressive social media campaign, including on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag: #realmencook

Julian Valentine, who grew up with Real Men Cook and began attending when he was 12 and was the youngest chef at 13, said he was so inspired by the event and by the love of the founders, that he became a chef. He is now a sous chef at Nordstrom’s Café. He shared the Real Men Cook philosophy that “food brings people together.” At the press conference, he served samples of his dishes, including a kale salad, which has been a highlight in the organization’s healthy mission and has been featured at every Real Men Cook event since 1999.

Among the Chicago communities where the celebrations will be held thus far are Englewood, Chatham, South Shore, Hyde Park, Lawndale, Bronzeville, Auburn Gresham and Park Manor and more. There will also be events in South Suburban cities and other outlying areas hosted by elected officials and community organization leaders. In these individual sites, men will serve in churches, fraternity houses, homeless shelters, their blocks, backyards, homes and parks. At each location, they will demonstrate that Real Men Cook, Love and Care.

The events will continue Real Men Charities’, Inc. tradition of promoting health and wellness, prevention and awareness for families and children. Accordingly, each locale will serve healthy foods and broadcast the message that food is medicine. Activities for children, also a Real Men Cook tradition, will continue.

Some of the partners at the conference who are among the 27 hosts were: Demetrious Walker of Fathers & Blessings, “a south suburban-based organization that seeks to unite Fathers and Blessings as one for a change;” Minister Jeffrey Muhammad of Mosque Maryam whose members will manage the event at that location; Jerald Gary, Chairman of the Chicago Regal Foundation, operator of the Avalon Regal Theater and David Peterson Jr. President, National A Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, will also host the event at their respective venues.  Each of the partners expressed their commitment to the Real Men Cook mission and vowed to maintain the tradition at the sites they will host.

Jackson believes the newly-revamped event represents the beginning of a broader Movement.  “Life is about change,” he declared,  “and localizing and expanding the event’s reach is a way of keeping the healthy families, good men Movement vibrant.”

Real Men Cook is the largest, longest-running and most-anticipated Father’s Day celebration of its kind. It provides a platform where “real men” from all walks of life are honored for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to their families and to their communities. In keeping with Real Men Cook’s core mission. Each venue will award men for the contributions they have made in their communities.

Some of the high-profile men who have donned a chef’s hat and participated in the past include U.S. Senator Barack Obama, Congressmen Danny Davis, Congressman John Conyers, and John Lewis. Senate President Emil Jones and his son Senator Emil Jones and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and his sons, former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Professor Jonathan Jackson have also joined in past celebrations.

For more information, visit www.realmencook.com

Over 1,300 Tradeswomen From Across the Country Will Bring Their Voices to the 2016 Women Build Nations `Conference in Illinois

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – North America’s Building Trade Unions (NABTU) and Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT) will bring together more than 1,300 women, representing multiple crafts in the building and construction trades, for the Women Build Nations (WBN) conference in Chicago. The event takes place at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare Conference Center, Rosemont, IL.

 

The conference offers attendees over 35 workshops and plenary sessions facilitated by tradeswomen, featuring union leaders, apprenticeship coordinators, contractors and elected officials. “I have long fought to protect the rights of women, including full and equal economic opportunity through equitable pay and employment opportunities. I am honored to carry this message and commitment to the 2016 Women Build Nations conference,” said Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 9th Congressional district. Congresswoman Schakowsky will give the keynote welcome address during the opening plenary session at the WBN conference on Saturday, April 30, at 8:45 a.m.

 

The third annual pre-conference, “Recruiting and Retaining Women in the Trades Institute”, takes place on Friday, April 29, from 9 am – 5 pm. This session provides employers, registered apprenticeship programs, workforce practitioners and other industry stakeholders an opportunity to learn from a variety of successful models and network with peers from around the country.

 

“Although the percentage of women who work in the trades remains far too low, when we join together in sisterhood and solidarity, we become a force for change,” said Patti Edwards Devlin, Federation Liaison to the President of the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA).

 

Local activities throughout the conference include the unveiling of local artist Tene Smith’s vibrant and empowering mural, highlighting Chicago’s diverse tradeswomen, during the Chicago Women in Trades open house reception on Thursday, April 28, from 6-9 p.m. Attendees will sightsee Chicago’s diverse city neighborhoods during the Chicago Women & Labor History tour, led by the Illinois Labor History Society on Friday, April 29. On Sunday, May 1, conference attendees will participate in the International Workers’ Day march from Haymarket Square to Daley Plaza. The May Day march recognizes and honors the workers and activists who lost their lives fighting for the right to an 8-hour workday.

 

“This action packed weekend reminds tradeswomen that they are an important segment of a strong and vibrant movement, energizing and inspiriting them to continue the fight for economic equity at home. We are thrilled to bring this opportunity to Illinois tradeswomen and tradeswomen across the country,” said Jayne Vellinga, Executive Director of Chicago Women in Trades.

 

About Chicago Women in Trades

 

Founded in 1981, Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT) works for women’s economic equity by increasing participation in well-paid, skilled jobs traditionally held by men and by eliminating barriers that prohibit women from entering and succeeding in these fields. CWIT provides educational training, support and advocacy to women.

 

 

 

Illinois Study Finds Juvenile Record Confidentiality and Expungement Laws Threaten Public Safety and Burden Youth for Life

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 

In Illinois, the confidentiality of juvenile records is a myth,

and the juvenile expungement system is not working.

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Laws and policies governing the treatment of court and arrest records of youth “threaten public safety, produce substantial unnecessary costs, and impede young people’s ability to transition to productive adulthood,” according to a comprehensive study released Thursday by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.

Although state law long has emphasized the principle that a youth’s mistakes should not brand that child for life, Illinois youth have been harmed by the erosion of confidentiality protections and the extreme difficulty and expense of erasing a record through the expungement process, according to the report, “Burdened for Life: The Myth of Juvenile Record Confidentiality and Expungement in Illinois.”

“While many believe juvenile records are kept confidential, they are not,” the report states. “The erosion of record confidentiality protections over the past 40 years calls into question whether the word confidential can be used in good faith anymore. Through broad lawful record sharing and the widespread incidence of unlawful sharing, the potential for accessing and sharing juvenile information has never been greater.

 

“In light of this expanded access, juvenile record expungement is a crucial mechanism to ensure that a person’s youthful mistakes do not limit future access to employment, housing, and education,” the report continues. “Unfortunately, Illinois’ juvenile expungement system is not working.”

 

In Illinois, tens of thousands of juveniles are arrested each year, and the largest majority of those arrests by far are for non-violent offenses.  Over the last decade, only three of every 1,000 arrests – less than one-third of one percent of juvenile arrests – were expunged in Illinois, the study determined.

 

The report recommends enhancement of the confidentiality of juvenile records and increased access to juvenile expungement consistent with recommendations of the American Bar Association.

The Commission’s report is based on a first-of-its-kind study to determine how many juvenile record expungements were granted in each county from 2004 to 2014, interviews and surveys of individuals representing a diverse cross-section of professionals in the justice field, interviews of youth with records, a survey of county clerks, review of police practices in Illinois’ 10 largest cities, and a review of statutes, employment practices and other research.

 

“Through many recent reforms, Illinois has regained some of its stature as a leader in juvenile justice with laws recognizing kids do make mistakes and should have a chance to correct their actions and become productive citizens,” said George W. Timberlake, who is Chair of the Commission and retired chief judge of the Second Judicial Circuit.  “But Illinois’ treatment of juvenile records is out of step with those principles, and we need to revise our weak confidentiality and restrictive expungement laws that have become barriers to rehabilitation of young lives and a threat to the safety of our communities.”

OVERVIEW OF FINDINGS REGARDING CONFIDENTIALITY OF JUVENILE RECORDS

 

The study found that weak confidentiality protections for juvenile records in Illinois create obstacles to rehabilitation. When knowledge of the records make it impossible for young people to continue their education and find jobs and housing, their rehabilitation is interrupted, and public safety is threatened. Illinois law now permits broad sharing of juvenile law enforcement records with as many as 20 unique parties and sharing of juvenile court records with 30 unique parties, including some entities with a legitimate need for information to assist the youth but also with potential employers and groups as broad as the general public. 

 

Illinois fell far short of best practices with only 12 states ranking lower than Illinois with weaker limits on sharing of juvenile law enforcement records and only 10 states scoring worse than Illinois in granting access to juvenile court records, according to a national study by the Juvenile Law Center, the nation’s oldest non-profit public interest law firm for children.

 

In addition to the broad sharing of juvenile records allowed by law, the study found unlawful sharing of juvenile records is prevalent.  Common examples of unlawful sharing include police and others with access to criminal record databases improperly sharing juveniles’ information with employers, landlords, schools and others.

 

The widespread sharing of records often prevents individuals from obtaining jobs, housing and education – the very things they need to be productive members of society.  For example, a review of online employment applications found that nearly 70 percent asked applicants to disclose arrest or conviction history or required criminal background checks but none drew an explicit distinction between juvenile and adult activity or made clear that applicants need not disclose events that occurred when they were minors.

In addition, there are no statutory penalties for unlawful sharing of juvenile records in Illinois and no legal remedies for individuals harmed by the sharing. In contrast to Illinois, many other states have statutory provisions either criminalizing the improper sharing of juvenile records, imposing fines or sanctions on offenders, and/or granting harmed youth a cause of action against offending parties.

 

OVERVIEW OF FINDINGS REGARDING EXPUNGEMENT OF JUVENILE RECORDS

 

The Illinois juvenile expungement process – the primary means of ensuring that youthful mistakes do not cause problems in adulthood – is dysfunctional.

 

Restrictive eligibility criteria make expungement available to only a small fraction of youth.  For those eligible, a burdensome, expensive, and confusing process prevents many from pursing expungement.  The law enforcement and court personnel entrusted to provide notice and information about expungement too often misunderstand their role or neglect their legal duties.

 

With no oversight or transparency, this broken process has remained in place, with effectively no juvenile record expungement in the majority of the state over the past decade.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

Illinois should enhance confidentiality protections of juvenile records.

 

  • The Juvenile Court Act (JCA) should be amended to eliminate instances when juvenile records may be shared with the general public and limit records access to parties with an essential need for the information.
  • For further protection and clarity, the JCA should have a robust definition of sealing to make clear all juvenile records remain sealed when a juvenile turns 18 and may not be shared beyond what the law allows.
  • To close loopholes, the confidentiality protections of the JCA should be extended to the records of municipal and ordinance violations. Illinois, which stopped the practice of sending juvenile records to the FBI in 2010, should create a mechanism to remove all pre-2010 juvenile records from the FBI database.
  • Illinois should make the improper sharing of records a misdemeanor and impose fines, and harmed individuals should be able to recover damages from individuals or entities illegally disclosing confidential information.
  • Police departments and clerk’s offices throughout Illinois should increase education and training about compliance with juvenile record confidentiality laws.

 

Illinois should increase access to juvenile record expungement.

 

  • Consistent with the American Bar Association’s recommendations, Illinois should significantly expand automatic expungement and join 12 other states that already have automated the process. Automatic expungement should be immediate for juvenile arrests where no charges are filed, as well as juvenile cases that are dismissed or result in findings of not guilty. In cases resulting in a finding of delinquency, expungement should be made automatic upon the successful closing of the youth’s case.
  • Short of automatic expungement, Illinois should reduce waiting periods and minimum age limits for juvenile cases that do not result in a delinquency finding. In addition, Illinois should remove absolute bars to expungement and, in previously barred cases, grant judges the discretion to determine whether expungement serves the best interests of the individual and society at large.
  • Juvenile expungement fees, which can range upwards of several hundred dollars, should be eliminated.
  • Because court clerks and law enforcement officials often fail to inform youth of their expungement rights, those offices and agencies should increase training and education with an emphasis on both the process and value of expungement.

In a resolution passed in December 2014, the General Assembly charged the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission with researching juvenile confidentiality and expungement law and practice in Illinois and with providing any needed recommendations for reform. The Commission’s research was conducted in partnership with the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Commission’s full report can be found here: http://ijjc.illinois.gov/publications/reports

Blue Man Group Adds Performances to Summer Schedule at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL Blue Man Group, continuing its open run at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre (3133 N. Halsted Street), will celebrate 25 years of living in full color with an enhanced performance schedule this summer. The added performances will provide audiences with more opportunities to experience Blue Man Group and create colorful memories with family and friends this summer.

The critically hailed cultural phenomenon combines dramatic spectacles, lively music, witty comedy, art, technology and science, providing audiences with a must-see performance that is unlike any other.

Blue Man Group Ticket Information
Tickets are available from $49-$99. Tickets may be purchased at the Briar Street Theatre by calling the box office at (773) 348-4000; by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787; at all Ticketmaster ticket centers or via the Internet at www.ticketmaster.com/bluemanchicago. For a full show schedule and ticket pricing, please visit www.blueman.com/chicago.

Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more, varying from $46- $64 per person. For groups of 10 or more, call the group sales department to book at: 773.348.3300 or email chicagogroups@blueman.com to request information.

2016 Summer Performance Schedule:

May
Tuesday, May 3 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, May 4 – 12 and 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 5 – 2 and 8 p.m.
Friday, May 6 – 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 8 – 1 and 4 p.m.
Tuesday, May 10 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, May 11 – 2 and 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 12 – 2 and 8 p.m.
Friday, May 13 – 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 14 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 15 – 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 17 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, May 18 – 2 and 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 19 – 2 and 8 p.m.
Friday, May 20 – 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 21 – 2, 4 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 22 – 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 24 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, May 25 – 2 and 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 26 – 2 and 8 p.m.
Friday, May 27 – 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 28 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 29 – 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
Monday, May 30 – 5 p.m.
Tuesday, May 31 – 8 p.m.

June

Wednesday, June 1 – 2 and 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 2 – 2 and 8 p.m.

Friday, June 3 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 4 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 5 – 4 and 7 p.m.

Monday, June 6 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, June 7 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 8 – 2 and 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 9 – 8 p.m.

Friday, June 10 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 11 – 2, 5, and 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 12 – 4 and 7 p.m.

Monday, June 13 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, June 14 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 15 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 16 – 8 p.m.

Friday, June 17 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 18 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 19– 4 and 7 p.m.

Monday, June 20 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, June 21 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 22 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 23 – 8 p.m.

Friday, June 24 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 25 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 26 – 8 p.m.

Monday, June 27 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, June 28 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 29 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 30 – 8 p.m.

July

Friday, July 1 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 2 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 3 – 4 and 7 p.m.

Monday, July 4 – 5 p.m.

Tuesday, July 5 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, July 6 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, July 7 – 8 p.m.

Friday, July 8 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 9 — 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 10 – 4 and 7 p.m.

Monday, July 11 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, July 12 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, July 13 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, July 14 – 8 p.m.

Friday, July 15 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 16 — 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 17 – 4 and 7 p.m.

Monday, July 18 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, July 19 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, July 20 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, July 21 – 8 p.m.

Friday, July 22 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 23 — 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 24 – 4 and 7 p.m.

Monday, July 25 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, July 26 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, July 27 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, July 28 – 8 p.m.

Friday, July 29 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 30 — 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 31 – 4 and 7 p.m.

August

Monday, August 1 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, August 2 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, August 3 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, August 4 – 2 and 8 p.m.

Friday, August 5 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 6 – 2, 5, 8 p.m.

Sunday, August 7 – 4 and 7 p.m.

Monday, August 8 – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, August 9 — 8 p.m.

Wednesday, August 10 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, August 11 – 2 and 8 p.m.

Friday, August 12 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 13 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, August 14 – 4 and 7 p.m.

Wednesday, August 17 – 8 p.m.

Thursday, August 18 – 8 p.m.

Friday, August 19 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 20 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, August 21 – 4 and 7 p.m.

Thursday, August 25 – 8 p.m.

Friday, August 26 – 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 27 – 2, 5 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, August 28 – 4 and 7 p.m.

About Blue Man Productions
In 2016, global entertainment phenomenon Blue Man Group celebrates 25 years of living in full color with a series of new projects and appearances. The company is best known for the award-winning Blue Man Group show, performed in 15 countries and seen by more than 35 million people worldwide since 1991. A dynamic combination of music, comedy and technology, the show appeals to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds. It is continually refreshed with new music, fresh stories, custom instruments and state-of-the-art technology.

The company developed through a creative collaboration among three close friends, Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Blue Man Group now has permanent theatrical productions in Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, Chicago, New York and Berlin, a North American tour and a World Tour.

This creative collective is part of the pop culture zeitgeist. Beyond the stage show, they have toured the globe with the “Megastar World Tour” rock concert parody, released 5 albums, including the Grammy-nominated Audio, and contributed to numerous film and TV scores. They’ve served as the face of branding campaigns for Intel and TIM/Brasil and appeared countless times on hit shows like “The Tonight Show”, “Arrested Development”, “Ellen”, “Schlag den Raab” (Germany), “WOWOW” (Japan), and “Caldeirão do Huck” (Brasil).
Based in New York City, Blue Man Productions has extensive production facilities, recording studios and a 6,000 square foot Research & Development Lab with numerous new creative projects in the pipeline.

Attorney General Madigan & Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault Urge Lawmakers to Eliminate Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Crimes

Posted by Admin On April - 28 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) called on Illinois lawmakers to eliminate the statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children.

 

Madigan and ICASA’s Executive Director Polly Poskin have long supported the removal of the current statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes against children. Illinois law should allow children who have been victims of sexual assault and abuse the time to come forward and report their crimes. Survivors of sexual assault crimes during their childhood should be afforded the time it takes to process their assault and come forward to report their crimes to authorities.

 

“Sexual assault continues to be pervasive in society, affecting far too many children and families across Illinois,” said Madigan. “When a prosecutor cannot indict an offender for these heinous acts because the statute of limitations has run, it raises serious moral, legal and ethical questions. We have long supported extending the time period for prosecutors to file sexual assault and abuse charges, and we urge the Legislature to eliminate the statute of limitations on all sex crimes involving children.”

 

“What is most important in these cases – the offense or the time that has passed?” Polly Poskin said. “If people understood the devastating and debilitating impact that sex crimes have on someone, then they would understand why it’s so hard to step forward, especially when the perpetrator is someone in a position of trust, like a teacher or coach. These victims need justice in order to heal – even decades after the abuse.”

 

 

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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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