A $4.8 million-a-year city program that was supposed to divert young people away from the criminal justice system and toward social services “may actually re-traumatize” them or “increase their likelihood of re-offending,” Inspector General Joe Ferguson said this week.
Fourteen years after the Juvenile Intervention and Support Center was created, Ferguson concluded that it’s impossible to determine whether the goal of the program was accomplished because of a host of problems that include poor record keeping, destroyed case records and inadequate training of police officers.
Despite the staggering death total in Cook County last year — at least 1,151 people died of opioid poisoning, far more than the number of gunshot deaths — the Cook County state’s attorney’s office has charged just eight people with drug-induced homicide.
State law prohibits pot shops from opening within 1,500 feet of each other, and three others want to open near developer Fred Latsko’s vacant properties, which have attracted interest from Windy City Cannabis and PharmaCann.
That means only one of those shops eventually will be allowed to open.
As a result, Latsko — long a player in Chicago’s political and development landscape — says he’s concerned that someone might be trying to sabotage his chances of PharmaCann becoming his tenant at 444 N. LaSalle.
In a ward with deep political divisions, not everybody is happy, and plenty will try to frame the situation to their advantage. But the projects to come certainly are improvements over what Six Corners has now — an empty Sears store and across it, on Irving Park Road, a hole in the ground that dates from 2016. They are open sores for what used to tout itself as the busiest Chicago retail district outside of downtown.
In a blistering report issued last year, the city’s Office of the Inspector General said the department’s existing gang “database” — which includes more than 134,000 names — was a disorganized collection of outdated information stored in a host of different places.
This week, the Chicago Police Department announced that it will launch an upgraded and remodeled system to ultimately replace its controversial gang database.
Now that he’s free himself, Rod Blagojevich wants justice for other prisoners languishing in prisons around the nation. The morning after his release, he stepped onto the front porch of his Ravenswood home to condemn our “broken” and “corrupt” criminal justice system.
Yes, there are people in prison for crimes they did not commit. And yes, many other people in prison are serving harsh penalties for minor, non-violent crimes. The vast majority of these inmates are people of color.