Chief Judge Evans named Person of the Year

Released On 11/29/2017

Chicago Lawyer magazine cites work on criminal justice reform in 2017


Chicago Lawyer magazine has named Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans its Person of the Year for 2017.


“We took several steps forward this year to protect constitutional rights and reduce the jail population because justice required us to do so. I am honored to receive this recognition of the progress we have made in our court system in 2017,” Chief Judge Evans said.


The magazine cited three initiatives that began this year. In the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chief Judge Evans:


  • Signed an order in March to assign public and private defense attorneys to represent arrestees while they are still in custody at the police station. In 2016, less than 1 percent of all Chicago arrests resulted in an attorney visit at a police station.
  • Changed the cash-bail process in July to ensure that monetary bail is set in an amount that a defendant can afford. Under the order that took effect in September, nobody should be held in custody simply because they cannot afford bail. On Sept. 17, the day before the order took effect, the jail population was 7,490. On Nov. 28, it was 6,440.
  • Opened the Restorative Justice Community Court in August to serve the North Lawndale neighborhood. The court empowers victims and residents to play an active role in the rehabilitation of the emerging adult population – offenders 18 to 26 years old – who commit nonviolent crimes. The restorative justice approach helps reintegrate offenders back into the community by conducting peace circles and connecting them with services including mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, education, job training and parenting classes.


The article is available at




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