6 episodes

This is our Chicago Justice Podcast that covers crime, violence, and justice issues in Chicago. We will feature deep dives in to justice system data, interview with researchers and justice system reform advocates, as well as evaluations of justice system practices.

Chicago Justice Podcast Tracy Siska

    • News Commentary

This is our Chicago Justice Podcast that covers crime, violence, and justice issues in Chicago. We will feature deep dives in to justice system data, interview with researchers and justice system reform advocates, as well as evaluations of justice system practices.

    Chicago’s Million Dollar Blocks

    Chicago’s Million Dollar Blocks

    Chicago's Million Dollar Blocks is an amazing website that details over a five year period how much money the State of Illinois spends on incarcerating people per block in Chicago.





    In this episode we feature an interview with researcher and author Dr. Dan Cooper from the Metropolitan Planning Council, who together with his colleague Dr. Ryan Lugalia-Hollon and the technologists at Datamade, created a fascinating website that details the horrific amount of money we spend on our failing justice system.







    The public is largely ignorant of the vast amounts of money spent every year on our criminal justice system. The scariest aspect of this site the hundreds of millions of dollar spent each year only account for costs associated with incarceration through the Illinois Department of Corrections. It does not account for costs related to operating any of the other levels of the justice system.







    Adding in these costs would surely turn the hundreds of millions of dollars in to billions of dollars a year. Please remember just how little in return we are getting for this enormous investment each year.







    Here is a quick summary of the other steps:







    Office of Emergency Management & Communications Chicago Police Department Cook County State's Attorney's Office (Cook County JailCook County Public Defender's OfficeCook County Criminal CourtCook County Circuit Court Clerk







    There is no real reliable data that would allow us to track costs reliably across the justice system for a single case to be responded to, investigated, prosecuted, defender, possibly incarcerate pre-conviction in Cook County Jail, and then deliver to Cook County Jail upon conviction.







    We do have one terrifying statistic from the Chicago Council of Lawyers. They reported that they were told by the Circuit Clerk's Office that it costs the office $2,600 just to open a court file in every single criminal case that appears in Cook County's criminal courts. Multiple that by the hundreds of thousands of cases that go through courts each year and you can see just including a single additional level of the justice system and the costs spiral to astronomical levels.

    • 56 min
    IDOC & Their Response to COVID-19

    IDOC & Their Response to COVID-19

    The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic is the subject of today's episode. We feature excerpts from a Facebook Live interview we did with Jobi Cates, Founder and Executive Director of Reform Justice Illinois (RJI).





    RJI was originally created to work on issues solely focused on juvenile lifers, or people sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes committed as youth. But when confronted with intersection of many bad policies RJI expended their mission to address a multitude of policy issues related to criminal justice.







    IDOC has reputation dating back many years of maintaining horrible data about every aspect of their work. This is why Cates was unable at the time of this recording to provide a reliable number of how many individuals were released from IDOC custody because of the pandemic.







    IDOC has taken steps with Gov. Pritzker to speed up some number of releases for inmates that has 30 days or less until they were scheduled to be released. They have also moved to release a limited number of individuals who are over 55 years old and have underlying health conditions that would make the particularly susceptible to the ravage of this virus.







    Exactly how many inmates were released due to the virus at this point we can only guess.







    Also in this episode we quickly discuss the confirmation of former Dallas Police Chief David Brown as the new Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. In a previous episode we discuss media coverage of the Chicago Police Board's candidate selection process, the short list of candidates, and Mayor Lightfoot's selection of Brown.







    All of this was covered in the Chicago media while ignoring Brown's history of manipulating crime statistics in an effort to kill crime in Dallas. This was obviously the first thing that the Chicago media should have uncovered in their work. Just sad that it was never mentioned in Chicago.

    • 28 min
    POD: Media Coverage of the Selection of David Brown

    POD: Media Coverage of the Selection of David Brown

    In this episode we discuss the media coverage of the process used to select former Dallas Police Chief David Brown as the nominee for the permanent Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.





    Our guest today is Beachwood Reporter Founder and Editor Steve Rhodes. On this episode we discuss the media coverage of the search conducted by the Chicago Police Board for potential candidates for the job, the process by which the Chicago Police Board narrowed that list to 3 candidates and how Mayor Lightfoot came to select David Brown.







    Sadly the media coverage has been lacking the detailed reviewof Brown's history in Dallas. While the Chicago media focuses on his personal history with violence and loss they ignore very important allegations of manipulating crime statistics to kill crime in the city of Dallas. Allegations that both were very easy to find through simple Google searches and that seem implicate Brown as being right in the middle of the manipulation during his tenure with the Dallas Police Department.







    How a city still dealing with the effects of the Laquan McDonald murder and with a history of its own with manipulating crime statistics could pick a potential leader with a similar history is mindbogglingly.







    As the City Council Committee on Public Safety meets at 11am today to confirm Brown serious questions regarding his history need to be answered before the vote is taken. CJP is submitting what we believe based on our research are the top 10 most important questions to ask David Brown. Only time will tell if alderman will step up to the plate and actually ask him meaningful questions.







    This conversation is pulled from our our FaceBook Livestream conversations that we do every Wednesday from 12-1pn. Here is the media coverage that we discuss in this podcast. The most important article from the Dallas media can be found here.







    If you have questions about this episode or want to submit topic ideas for future podcast episodes or even suggestions for who we should interview on our livestreams you can contact us by posting questions and ideas to our Facebook page, message us on Twitter @CJPJustProj or email us at pod@chicagojustice.org.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    FOIA, Featuring Merrick Wayne

    FOIA, Featuring Merrick Wayne

    The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a vital tool that allows residents of the state to gain access to public records. Today's show features a discussion on FOIA and more specifically a memo authored by Matt Topic from Loevy & Loevy.





    Our guest today is Merrick Wayne who specializes in representing residents, journalists, and nonprofits in their efforts to litigate for access to public records in Illinois. Merrick is also currently representing us in our ongoing litigation against the Chicago Police Department.







    Topic was approached in the spring of 2019 by Lori Lightfoot's transition committee seeking his input on ways to improve the city's response to FOIA. Topic authored a memo documenting his recommendations. Many of which CJP things would be significant game changes in the battle to access government records in Chicago and throughout Illinois.





    If you want to read the memo for your self you can download here: FOIA Memo.

    There are several recommendations that are contained in the memo that if implemented would significantly alter the world of FOIA in Illinois. In today's show we discuss a few of them including:



    Law Department Review - this would force the law department to author memo about each FOIA complaint filed in Cook County Court within 30 days of the complaint being filed and the memo would then to be delivered to the mayor's office.

    Stop using deliberative exemption - this would open up access to records about how the city actually comes to making a decision.



    There are more recommendations discussed in the episode that are really important for the city to adopt. One year after receiving the memo thought the city has not taken and meaningful steps towards the implementation of any of the recommendations that we can see.





    You can access full episodes of the podcast and many clips on our Youtube channel







    If you have any questions about this or any episode of our podcast please email pod@chicagojustice.org and we might feature your question on our next episode.

    FOIA: Muhammad Shooting to City Law Department

    FOIA: Muhammad Shooting to City Law Department

    Below is CJP’s FOIA in the Sgt. Khalil Muhammad case to the City of Chicago Law Department in his unjustified shooting, and subsequent murder, of Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes in the Chicago's Morgan Park Neighborhood back in August of 2017.







    This is part of a series of FOIAs that the Chicago Justice Project is filing to shed light on the highly questionable mediation of his pending termination case in front of the Chicago Police Board that resulted in a plea agreement of a 180 day suspension rather than termination. As we file the subsequent FOIAs we will be posting links. Also we will be posting responses we get from the agencies. You can find links to all of our FOIAs in in this case here.







    Below is the content of our FOIA we filed with the City of Chicago Law Department on 2/18/2020.







    In accordance with Definitions and Instructions below and the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide the following public records: 







    1. All video and audio recordings of any kind of Sgt. Khalil Muhammad’s Aug. 13, 2017 off-duty shooting of unarmed teenager Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes in the Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago (the “Incident”) –Board Case # 19 PB 2956.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:







    a. Electronic recordings from cell phones







    b. Electronic recordings from nearby security cameras collected by Police as evidence or otherwise







    c. Bodycam footage from Muhammad.







    d. Surveillance video showing Muhammad driving past Hayes without stopping.







    e. Video of the Incident reviewed by any members of the Board.







    f. Video of the Incident reviewed by any hearing officers employed by the Board.







    2. All documents regarding the “Incident”.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:







    a. Police reports regarding the Incident.







    b. Statements regarding the Incident.







    c. Evidence reviewed or considered by members of the Board regarding the Incident.







    d. Evidence reviewed or considered by any hearing officers employed by the Board regarding the Incident.







    e. Evidence in the Record of Proceedings before the Board.







    f. The “stipulation” filed by the City with the Board in October, 2019, including all 11 exhibits to same.







    3. Any documents or motions field by the City with the Board regarding the Incident.







    4. Any charges filed by the City with the Board regarding the Incident.







    5. Any final decisions handed down by the Board regarding the Incident. All documents regarding the “Plea Agreement”.







    6. All documents regarding the Board’s decision not to fire Muhammad.







    7. All documents regarding the Board’s decision that Muhammad’s use of deadly force was unjustified.







    8. The transcript and/or any notes or recordings (or documents reflecting) Muhammad’s statement(s) about the Incident.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:







    a. Muhammad’s statement(s) to the Police.







    b. Muhammad’s statement(s) to COPA.







    9. COPA’s summary and findings about the Incident.







    10. All documents (including electronic documents and communications) refer...

    • 1 min
    FOIA: Muhammad Shooting to Chicago Police Board

    FOIA: Muhammad Shooting to Chicago Police Board

    Below is CJP's FOIA in the Sgt. Khalil Muhammad case to the Chicago Police Board in his unjustified shooting, and subsequent murder, of Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes in the Morgan Park Neighborhood back in August of 2017.







    This is part of a series of FOIAs that CJP is filing to shed light on the highly questionable mediation of his pending termination case in front of the Chicago Police Board that resulted in a plea agreement for Sgt. Muhammad of a 180 day suspension rather than termination. As we file the subsequent FOIAs we will be posting links. Also we will be posting responses we get from the agencies. You can find links to all of our FOIAs in in this case here.







    Below is the content of our FOIA to the Chicago Police Board filed on 2/15/2020.







    In accordance with Definitions and Instructions below and the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide the following public records: 







    1.     All video and audio recordings of any kind of Sgt. Khalil Muhammad’s Aug. 13, 2017 off-duty shooting of unarmed teenager Ricardo “Ricky” Hayes in the Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago (the “Incident”) –Board Case # 19 PB 2956.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:







    a.     Electronic recordings from cell phones







    b.     Electronic recordings from nearby security cameras collected by Police as evidence or otherwise







    c.     Bodycam footage from Muhammad.







    d.     Surveillance video showing Muhammad driving past Hayes without stopping.







    e.     Video of the Incident reviewed by any members of the Board.







    f.      Video of the Incident reviewed by any hearing officers employed by the Board.







    2.     All documents regarding the “Incident”.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:







    a.     Police reports regarding the Incident.







    b.     Statements regarding the Incident.







    c.     Evidence reviewed or considered by members of the Board regarding the Incident.







    d.     Evidence reviewed or considered by any hearing officers employed by the Board regarding the Incident.







    e.     Evidence in the Record of Proceedings before the Board.







    f.      The “stipulation” filed by the City with the Board in October, 2019, including all 11 exhibits to same.







    g.     Any documents or motions field by the City with the Board regarding the Incident. 







    h.     Any charges filed by the City with the Board regarding the Incident.







    i.      Any final decisions handed down by the Board regarding the Incident. 







    3.     All documents regarding the “Plea Agreement”.







    4.     All documents regarding the Board’s decision not to fire Muhammad.







    5.     All documents regarding the Board’s decision that Muhammad’s use of deadly force was unjustified.







    6.     The transcript and/or any notes or recordings (or documents reflecting) Muhammad’s statement(s) about the Incident.  Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:







    a.     Muhammad’s statement(s) to the Police.







    b.     Muhammad’s statement(s) to COPA.







    7.     COPA’s summary and findings about the Incident.

Top Podcasts In News Commentary