PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chief Judge O'Connell announces First Puerto Rican Heritage Day Courthouse Tour

Released On 06/20/2001

Cook County Chief Judge Donald P. O'Connell announced today that the Circuit Court of Cook County will host the Puerto Rican Heritage Day Courthouse Tour on Tuesday, June 26, 2001. The tour will take place in the Richard J. Daley Center at 50 West Washington Street and will depart the west lobby at 10:00 a.m. The tour program is part of an outreach initiative launched by Chief Judge O'Connell to increase access to the court for all communities by offering insight into the legal system. Hundreds of community members of all ages have participated since the program first began three years ago.

"The Puerto Rican Heritage Day Courthouse Tour is the latest addition in the court's series honoring the diversity of race and ethnicity in our community. Puerto Rican Heritage Day provides the court with a wonderful opportunity to work with the Puerto Rican community toward our shared goal of increasing minority access to the court," said Chief Judge O'Connell.

Highlights of the tour include a viewing of the court's juror orientation video and a visit to a courtroom to observe a trial in process. Tour participants will also have the opportunity to meet with a Circuit Court judge for an informal presentation. Attendees will receive resource folders containing the Circuit Court's public information guides in English and in Spanish. The guides contain an overview of the court, a directory of court resources and background on the trial process.

The Circuit Court of Cook County Puerto Rican Heritage Day Courthouse Tour is cosponsored by the Puerto Rican Bar Association. Additional heritage month tours presented in the tour series include programs celebrating Arab Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Black History Month, Italian Heritage Month and National Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month.

Individuals or groups planning on attending the tour may contact Vida Gosrisirikul, Community Liaison for the Office of the Chief Judge at (312) 603-3402 by June 25, 2001.

For more information about courthouse tours and other programs and services of the Circuit Court of Cook County, visit www.cookcountycourt.org.

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