News from President Toni Preckwinkle

Watch Our “Justice Through Efficiency” Panel Discussion

On April 29, 2013 Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was joined by distinguished jurists and the Chief of Police of Aurora, Illinois to discuss how to make the justice system more efficient.

Efficient administration of justice promotes a speedy trial and all of its attendant benefits. While that constitutional right to a speedy trial should be reason enough to strive for greater efficiency, today’s economic climate compels us to work not only harder, but much smarter.

The discussion was moderated by Tom Wartowski, a retired Assistant State’s Attorney from Winnebago County, IL.  Along with President Preckwinkle, the panelists were as follows:


  • Paul Logli, State’s Attorney and Circuit Judge in Winnebago County, IL (Retired), Past President of the NDAA
  • Pamela Dembe, President Judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • Gregory Thomas, Chief of Police of the City of Aurora, Illinois
  • Randolph Stone, Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School Mandel Legal Aid Clinic’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Projects

You can also watch from 8 key questions addressed during the event:

Question 1: “What kinds of incentives or policies can encourage justice system stakeholders to work collaboratively?


Question 2: “How important is it that the public have faith in the system?”


Question 3: “What are common barriers to efficiency, and what strategies have you found to overcome them?”


Question 4: “What role has technology played in increasing efficiency in your justice system?”


Question 5: “Are there better ways than a traditional money bail and warrant system to ensure court appearances by defendants?”


Question 6: “Many of defendants who return to the system over and over also have serious mental or behavioral health issues. Are there better and more efficient ways for system to work with this population?”


Question 7: “How you found ways to cooperate with communities affected most by crime?”


Question 8: “How can a more efficient address the inherent racial and economic disparity in the criminal justice system?”

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