Under the direction of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the Cook County Justice Advisory Council (JAC) is charged with the coordination and implementation of the President’s criminal and juvenile justice reform efforts and public safety policy development. The specific goals of the JAC include working collaboratively with the county’s public safety stakeholders towards the specific goals of safely reducing the population of the Cook County Jail and Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center while preserving public safety, reducing recidivism, and promoting fair and equitable access to justice.
The mission of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council is to work collaboratively with key stakeholders in the County’s criminal and juvenile justice system to reduce the population of the Cook County Jail and Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, while ensuring systematic and community supports to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.
Our vision is an institutional reconfiguration of the Cook County criminal justice system whereby only violent offenders and those that are a risk to society remain in the Cook County Jail, while non-violent offenders are increasingly and uniformly offered opportunities to be reintegrated into society in a way that best meets their needs and ensures public safety. We envision Cook County being a national model for court diversion programs which properly assesses as early as possible the low-risk offenders which should properly be redirected to and supported by community-based programs (e.g., substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, educational, job training) supported by electronic monitoring and proactive probation services.
This vision is supported by the philosophical notion that collaboration is based on a common goal of the criminal and juvenile justice stakeholders to improve the efficiency of the system, understanding that shared decision-making requires good-faith participation and engagement towards that common goal. At the core is the understanding that the County should spend less of its budget on incarceration, which destabilizes families and communities, and more on properly assessing and supporting those who could return to their families and communities at little to no risk to overall public safety.
Illinois Statute (55ILCS 5/5-18001 et. seq.) and Cook County Ordinance (Chapter 5, Section 161-163) empower the Judicial Advisory Council to devise means to effect the improvement of administration of justice in and with relation to the County, and to formulate all proper suggestions and recommendations concerning legislation and other measures designed to bring about such improvement.
Cook County Justice Advisory Council Staff
The following Justice Advisory Council staff can be reached at the agency's main line: (312) 603-1133.
The Justice Advisory Council has taken steps to protect ourselves and others during this COVID-19 pandemic by working remotely. If you need to contact the staff please email JAC.Info@cookcountyil.gov.
TBD, Executive Director
TBD, Executive Assistant
Rebecca Janowitz, Esq., Special Assistant for Legal Affairs
Ali Abid, Esq., Program Coordinator
Savannah Felix, MA., Legislative Coordinator I
Christopher Hawkins-Long, MBA., Grant Coordinator
Wynetta Scales BBA., Grant Monitor
Denise Brown, MSHSA., Grant Monitor
MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge
Kim Davis-Ambrose, MSW., Community Engagement Coordinator