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Minutes of the Law & Justice Committee
January 28, 2013
6:30 p.m.

PRINTABLE DOCUMENT (.pdf)

DRAFT

 

The Law and Justice Committee of the DeKalb County Board met on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 6:30p.m. in the DeKalb County Administration Building’s Conference Room East. Chairman Julia Fullerton called the meeting to order. Members present Anthony Cvek, John Frieders, Ruth Anne Tobias, Anita Turner and Derek Tyson. Mr. Ken Andersen was absent. Others present were Sheriff Roger Scott, Margi Gilmour, Thomas McCulloch, Judge Robin Stuckert, Maureen Josh, Richard Schmack and Greg Millburg.

 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Moved by Ms. Tobias, seconded by Mr. Tyson, and it was carried unanimously to approve the minutes from November 2012.


APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Moved by Ms. Tobias, seconded by Mr. Cvek, and it was carried unanimously to approve the agenda as presented.


JUDGE STUCKERT – DRUG COURT & DUI COURT UPDATES
Judge Stuckert said that she was here this evening to answer any questions that the committee may have with regards to Ms. Marilyn Stromborg’s reports on the Drug and DUI Courts. She said that on the last page of the report, Ms. Stromborg reported that they had applied to the Mentor Court and there are very few courts that are selected to become one. She said that the County has made it into the finalist standings and so in February they are having National to come out and view the County’s Drug Court. They will sit in with the staffing of Drug Court and then let us know if we are being selected as the Mentor Court, she continued. It is nationwide and there is quite a desire to become a Mentor Court because it shows that you are doing things as best as you can.

 


Ms. Tobias said to let us know if you need any letters of support.


Ms. Turner asked Judge Stuckert how many Mentor Courts are there.


Judge Stuckert said that they had applied for Mentor Court before but since we were limited as to the number of people in the court, and the fact that they never got a hard number, we were kind of overlooked in the beginning when we started drug court.

 

Because our goal for drug court was 75 people and we did not reach that number they could not consider us. We were told to reapply and so we did.


Judge Stuckert said that our Drug Court is working with Ogle County who has been working on an Enhancement Grant so that they can open a Halfway House for men. Judge Stuckert said that we are both not offering it at this time, but DeKalb County will still be a part of it. We are very hopeful that within the next year, if they get the money, that there will be a Men’s Halfway House, she said.


Judge Stuckert said that they have 6 applicants currently. There are now 34 people in the DUI Court. Thirty-five to fifty people is the maximum amount that they could handle. They are currently searching for an evaluator. Lee and Ogle counties use an evaluator and that person’s term is for 6 months. The evaluator from Ogle County has come out to view our Drug Court. He has too many commitments right now with the other two counties and the courts, so Dr. Stromborg is currently talking to two other evaluators to see if one of them could do ours.


Judge Stuckert said that her goal for 2013 is to get the Halfway House done.

 

MAUREEN JOSH, CIRCUIT CLERK
Ms. Maureen Josh, DeKalb County Circuit Clerk, introduced herself to the new committee members and gave a brief update on her department. She said that she hosted a meeting for Chief Justice Gilbright and judges and circuit clerks from the Northeastern section of Illinois to talk about the upcoming EBusines Initiative that the courts are getting ready to embark on. It’s long been in the plans that we have had, but we have not had the support of the Supreme Court. Next week they are hosting the Northeast Clerks meeting with a couple of judges along with Judge Stuckert to discuss EBusiness Initiatives that will help the courts. This will provide easier access to the courts, less expensive, and it is the wave of the future - where we need to go in terms of our business practices. It will be in civil court to start.

 

RICHARD SCHMACK, STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
Mr. Richard Schmack, DeKalb County State’s Attorney, also introduced himself to the committee and gave a brief update on his office.


Mr. Schmack said that his office is fully staffed now. The have been trying to reduce the number of status calls to become more efficient.


He said that he has hired his 1st Assistant, Duke Harris, who has moved up here from Champaign, Illinois, and begun work. Many departments remember him when he worked here in the 1990's. His said that Stephanie Klein is the civil assistant in his office who handles the County's cases.

 

COURT SERVICES REPORTS – MS. MARGI GILMOUR
Ms. Margi Gilmour, Director of the Adult and Juvenile Court Services Department, gave her monthly reports to the committee.


She said that that they are making some changes to the Adult Report. They are switching some cases around and she has one officer who will be handling the administrative cases that they transfer out of County and low-risk cases. The other officer will be handling the sex offender cases. The rest of the officers in the office will be handing the moderate to high risk cases.


In December the CRS Office handled 70 new cases with almost 8,000 hours. She sees these clients on a face to face basis.


In the Juvenile Report, it reflects our juveniles that are housed in the Kane County Detention Center. She explained that we have an agreement with Kane County to guarantee us 7 beds in their Detention Center. We have reduced our usage there though. In December there were 4 detention admissions with 2 kids for the 1st time, 1 kid for the 3rd time and 1 kid for the 6th time. They currently do not have any kids placed in residential placement.


Ms. Gilmour stated that the parents that were taking care of the Safe House have resigned. She said that they are currently looking for a new set of parents that can fill their spot. She explained that the Safe House can house 5 youths. They will be posting the job opening very soon.

 

PUBLIC DEFENDER’S REPORT – MR. THOMAS McCULLOCH
Mr. McCulloch, DeKalb County Public Defender, said that he has recently been named the new Public Defender for DeKalb County. They have been concentrating on moving a lot of cases through the court system. They have hired two new attorneys who both started on January 7, 2013. They currently are closing slightly more cases than they are opening. He said that they are using 711's from the NIU Law School. They also have been approached by a paralegal student from Elgin Community College who has asked to help them with cases. He said that the paralegals do a lot of research, they can do interviews, etc.


He mentioned that today’s population in the Jail was 116 inmates. Hopefully, he said, his goal is to be more efficient and to move the cases through the court system faster.

 

JAIL REPORT – SHERIFF ROGER SCOTT
Sheriff Scott presented his monthly Jail Report to the committee. He said that the daily average population for the month of December 2012 was 138 inmates. He said that between 40 to 50 inmates are house out of the Jail every day. He mentioned that 23 people are on EHM and some of them are juveniles.

 

Sheriff Scott said that he will be coming before the committee in February to give his updated report on the Jail Expansion Project.


The committee asked Sheriff Scott about how many mental health inmates are there in the jail currently?
Sheriff Scott said that there are usually 5 inmates a week.


The committee also heard that there were about 20,000 beds to house mental health patients in the 1960's/1970's and there are currently 645 beds available now in the State of Illinois.

 

2013 ANNUAL REPORT SCHEDULE – MS. MARY SUPPLE
Ms. Supple, DeKalb County Board Coordinator, presented the 2013 Annual Report Schedule to the committee to approve. She stated that the committee may be adding more agencies and people as the year goes on. For example, the Sheriff now will be coming in February to update the committee on the Jail Expansion Project. Ms. Kim Green will be coming in the next couple of months from Kishwaukee College to provide some information on how here department works with the Regional Superintendent of Schools, truants, and our Court Services Department. She would also like to have the City of DeKalb’s Gang Unit come back and give us a presentation again.


It was moved by Mr. Cvek, seconded by Ms. Turner, and it was carried unanimously to approve the 2013 Annual Report Schedule.

 

ADJOURNMENT
Moved by Ms. Turner, seconded by Mr. Tyson, and it was carried unanimously to adjourn the meeting.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 


___________________________________
Julia Fullerton, Chairman

 

 

____________________________________
Mary Supple, Secretary