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Minutes of the Law & Justice Committee
November 18, 2013
6:30 p.m.

PRINTABLE DOCUMENT w/attachments (.pdf)



Note: These minutes are not official until approved by the Law and Justice
Committee at a subsequent meeting. Please refer to the meeting minutes
when these minutes are approved to obtain any changes to these minutes.



The Law and Justice Committee of the DeKalb County Board met on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in the DeKalb County Administration Building’s Conference Room East.

Vice-Chairman Derek Tyson called the meeting to order. Members present were Anthony Cvek, Riley Oncken, Ruth Anne Tobias and Anita Turner. Chairman Julia Fullerton and John Frieders were absent. Others present were Thomas McCulloch, Margi Gilmour, Richard Schmack and Dave Miller.

Moved by Mr. Oncken, seconded by Mrs. Tobias and it was carried unanimously to approve the minutes from October 21, 2013.


Moved by Mr. Oncken, seconded by Mrs. Turner and it was carried unanimously to approve the agenda.

Mr. McCulloch, DeKalb County Public Defender, indicated that his office has caught up with the number of caseloads assigned to them and have actually gotten a bit ahead. Mr. McCulloch continued, the jail is currently going through their seasonal pickup and the population in the jail has reached 160 occupants. He also shared with the committee a list of inmates that have been in the County Jail for more than a year which were eleven, one of which his office is responsible for and five inmates that have been in the jail for 9 months to a year, two of which his office is responsible for.


Mr. McCulloch also shared that he accepted an invitation to participate in a National Study of Public Defender Services. It is a two year study given by American University to see who is delivering quality legal services.

Ms. Margi Gilmour, Director of the Adult and Juvenile Court Services Department, shared with the Committee her monthly Adult Court Services Report which indicated there were 94 new adults referred with about 9,600 hours ordered and about 5,000 hours completed during October.

Ms. Gilmour also stated that juvenile detention numbers are running on average with 12 new cases, 730 hours ordered and 132 hours completed.

Vice-Chairman Tyson asked what the process of probation is and Ms. Gilmour gave the committee a brief overview on the process of probation and what her office does for the individuals that are ordered to do probation.


The Juvenile Placement Report indicated that there were four detention admissions in the month of October and all four were released. Ms. Gilmour also shared they still have two individuals in residential placement and they are both doing okay. Mrs. Tobias asked if Ms. Gilmour had any information on individuals who went through residential placement and have been out for a few years. Ms. Gilmour indicated that they had not looked into that in quite a while but she said that she would.

Dave Miller, Director of Family Service Agency met with the Law & Justice Committee to discuss whether there is a possible interest for them to pursue a new program that involves Neutral Exchange for families that are going through divorce cases in DeKalb County.

Mr. Miller explained that Neutral Exchange is when a situation like a divorce is so bad that neither parties can be in the same location so a designated spot is reserved for pick up and drop off of children with enough time allowance in between that the parents will not come in contact with each other during the exchange of visitations. This provides a safe and calm environment for the children that are involved. The Family Service Agency would also provide objective reporting to the courts regarding the exchanges.

Mr. Miller also shared that there about a 100 divorces a year in DeKalb County and he feels there is a need in this type of program. Similar programs have been implemented in DuPage and Winnebago Counties. Both Counties have been very helpful with supplying information that would help them get the program up and running.

The plan would be to utilize the Family Service Agencies’ existing location and personnel and have set hours and days for the visitation exchanges. Mr. Miller continued that the reason he was speaking with the committee was because the force that drives this program is a state statute that allows a County to have a filing fee on civil cases that funds the Neutral Exchange Program, which would have to be done by passing a Resolution from the County Board.

Mr. Oncken indicated that Mr. Miller presented this program proposal to the Bar Association and it was supported by them and it was indicated that there is a need for this in the DeKalb County Community. He wanted to make sure that there was support from the Committee to help Family Service Agency to know whether to proceed further with the program or not.


The consensus of the Law & Justice Committee was that they were in support of this program and invited Mr. Miller to return to the January Committee Meeting with a full program proposal, cost study, and tentative budget information regarding the Neutral Exchange Program.



It was moved by Mr. Oncken, seconded by Mrs. Tobias and it was carried unanimously to cancel the December Law & Justice Committee Meeting.

It was moved by Mr. Oncken, seconded by Mrs. Turner, and it was carried unanimously to adjourn the meeting.


Respectfully submitted,




Chairman Julia Fullerton



Tasha Stogsdill, Recording Secretary