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COOK COUNTY CONNECTIONS Results of the EJI Criminal Justice Survey

COOK COUNTY CONNECTIONS Results of the EJI Criminal Justice Survey

By: Molly Hicken, Cook County Attorney

COOK COUNTRY, MINNESOTA   July 10, 2021  (LSN)  On March 31, Cook County’s Equity in Justice Initiative published its Cook County Criminal Justice Survey, an inaugural effort at collecting anonymous opinions about justice from people of all backgrounds who have interacted with the local criminal justice system. Eighty people responded to the survey during its two-week circulation. This article is meant to provide a summary description of survey results.

Interaction with the criminal justice system. Those who responded could choose among eleven ways that they had interacted with the criminal justice system, including among others: “I reported a crime,” I was a victim of a reported crime,” I was a juror,” and “I was arrested.” Many selected more than one method of interaction with the system. The category of interaction with the system which received the most affirmative responses was “I reported a crime” but a high number of responders also said that their spouse or immediate family member interacted with the criminal justice system. Seven of those responding had been the victim of a reported crime, 19 were arrested or charged with a crime in court, and twelve who responded work within the criminal justice system. The vast majority of responders (about 86%) had interacted with the criminal justice system within the last five years.

What values should be guiding the criminal justice system? The survey provided a list of six defined values which participants were to rank in order of most important values that criminal justice professionals should use to guide their practices. The values most frequently listed top three by respondents (in order of frequency) were: public safety, personal accountability, and justice for crime victims. A few of the values that participants entered into the survey themselves included:

Protecting vulnerable citizens

Restorative justice

Enforcing the law and all 3 constitutions (US/MN/Tribal)

Community policing

Stop law enforcement harassment and overall abuse of power, better training and or accountability for insubordination

Preventing excessive charges by prosecutor

Treatment for mental health over jail or prison time

How should criminal justice prioritize its work? Respondents were asked what issues should be a priority for the criminal justice system in Cook County. Of the given options; including property crimes, domestic violence, drug crimes, traffic enforcement, mental health incident response, and sex crimes; respondents most favored prioritizing domestic violence, sex crimes, drug crimes, and mental health incident response. Some survey respondents added different areas the system should focus on, including police accountability, impaired driving, and school bus stop arm enforcement.

Advocating for change in the system. Most people participating in the survey agreed that they would advocate for at least some change in the criminal justice system in Cook County. Responses about what type of change is desirable in the criminal justice system in Cook County were extremely varied, but included the following:

Better training for officers/individuals investigating alleged crimes

More resources for prevention of extreme poverty, mental illness and addiction

Stronger sentences for repeaters of violent crimes

Prosecutors should do more to protect people who have been victims of sexual assault.

More control of drug peddlers

Support for restorative justice

Why are perpetrators innocent until proven guilty and victims are shamed and required to provide proof all throughout?

I strongly believe that the court system needs to re-evaluate the way they choose to prosecute cases (or lack thereof).

Downsize law enforcement, defund law enforcement.

Demographics. Respondents were given the opportunity to identify themselves as affiliated with eleven different types of identities, with options for “elder,” “youth,” “non-hetero sexual orientation,” and “person with mental illness,” among others. A respondent could select multiple identities or choose not to respond at all. Over twenty percent of those responding to the “identities” section identified themselves as “elders.” Fifteen individuals identified themselves as non-white, racial minority, or Native, Indigenous, or First Nations. Nineteen chose to define their identity in their own words rather than choose one of the pre-defined responses.

Limitations. Results of any study need to be weighed in their value according to the strengths and limitations of the survey method. Limitations in this study include the number of participants. While eighty responses is a good reach for an initial run, the more responses gathered, the better the results represent the true views of a population. The vast majority of responses came from the online survey, which could be completed using a phone, computer, or any internet-connected device. Only two hand-written paper surveys were collected despite distribution around the county, which would indicate that the results are not representative of the portion of the population which does not have access to or prefer the use of online resources.

Next steps. The Equity in Justice Initiative members will now attempt to distill survey results into action steps which criminal justice professionals can take to improve the local system. The results will guide future listening sessions held by EJI. A full report of survey results will become available by request by the end of summer, 2021.

Equity in Justice Initiative is an advisory group created in 2020 with a vision to create solutions through community awareness, dialogue, educational opportunities, and recommendations for change. EJI is made up of a combination of criminal justice professionals, advocates for victims of domestic and sexual violence, and representatives from the Grand Portage Anishinaabe.

By: Molly Hicken, Cook County Attorney

County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service.

#LSN_News #LSN_MNNews #LSN_CookCounty 


About Cook County Minnesota 

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Cook Country Minnesota Lake Superior News

Cook County is at the tip of Minnesota's Arrowhead region in the remote northeastern part of the state, stretching from the shores of Lake Superior to the US-Canada border. By land it borders Ontario, Canada to the north, and Lake County, MN to the west.  The highest point in Minnesota, Eagle Mountain is 2,301 feet and the highest lake,  Total Area equals 3,339.72 sq miles

Cook County is home to three national protected areas:
Grand Portage National Monument
Superior National Forest
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Cook County include:
 Grand Marais     Lutsen Mountains
 Gunflint Trail      Superior Hiking Trail
 Grand Portage 


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Beacons of Hope exhibition opening at Concordia University-St. Paul

Solo exhibition by Anne Labovitz

Robert McKenzie 0 964 Article rating: No rating

NORTHERN, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~~  September 16, 2021  (LSNews)  I am pleased to announce the opening of my latest exhibition, Beacons of Hope curated by Dr. Megan Arney Johnston at Concordia University-St. Paul.  The site-specific works center on the conceptual and gestural elements of hope.
 

Beacons of Hope opens Thursday, September 16th from 5-7pm with an artist talk at 5:30.  Please join me.  If you're unable to attend, the artist talk will be recorded and shared at a later date, and the works will be on view through October 13th.
 

#LSN_Art  #LSN_MNNews 

Lake Superior water levels have declined and have reached the seasonal long-term average

for the first time since April 2014

Robert McKenzie 0 1250 Article rating: 4.0

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~~  September 13, 2021 (LSNews)   As a result of the drier than average weather and water supply conditions, Lake Superior water levels have declined and have reached the seasonal long-term average for the first time since April 2014. Conditions have been wetter in the Lake Michigan-Huron basin and water levels are midway between the seasonal long-term average and the record high water levels that were observed last year. Lake Superior outflows continue to be set in consideration of water levels upstream and downstream.

#LSN_Shipping #LSN_MNNews #LSN_WiscNews #LSN_CircleTour 

Horne Fire Update

Robert McKenzie 0 2930 Article rating: No rating

ISLE ROYALE, MICHIGAN  ~~~~~~~  August 28, 2021 (LSNews)  The Horne Fire is currently 245 acres in size and still 15% contained. Isle Royale received 0.75 inches of rain yesterday. Firefighters are currently working to control and contain the fire. Check out the most recent maps of the Horne Fire

#LSN_Fire #LSN_Outdoors  #LSN_MiNews  #LSN_CookCounty 

Magnus Announces Lineup for 50th Anniversary Season

Robert McKenzie 0 4310 Article rating: No rating

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~~~  August 26, 2021 (LSNews)   Magnus Theatre is excited to announce a return to the stage, with a full season of Mainstage programming running from September 16, 2021 until May 14, 2022.

The theatre will be celebrating its 50th anniversary during the upcoming season

Horne Fire Update and Closures

Isle Royale National Park

Robert McKenzie 0 4235 Article rating: 4.7

ISLE ROYAL, MICHIGAN ~~~~~~~  August 22, 2021,(LSNews)   Isle Royale National Park is experiencing a wildfire on the island’s east end- the Horne Fire. It is approximately 200 acres in size at this time. Due to the progress of the Horne Fire, ongoing drought conditions, and elevated levels of fire danger, area closures are necessary to maintain public health and safety. Closed areas will be signed where possible and monitored to ensure compliance.

#LSN_MicNews #LSN_Cookcounty  #LSN_Fire

UP Wide Health Survey Arriving Soon

Robert McKenzie 0 2889 Article rating: No rating

SAULT STE MAIRE, MICHIGAN  ~~~~~~  August 16, 2021 (LSNews)  Health surveys will be mailed this week to randomly selected household addresses across the Upper Peninsula as part of a community health needs assessment sponsored by 32 regional healthcare partners, including local health departments, hospitals, clinics, behavioral health agencies and health foundations.

#LSN_Health  #LSN_MiNews 

WMH ~ Ambulance Transfer Update for Community

Local agencies are working together on securing ambulance transportation

Robert McKenzie 0 2925 Article rating: 5.0

SAULT STE MARIE, MICHIGAN  ~~~~~~  August 14,2021 (LSNews)  Local agencies are working together on securing ambulance transportation for patients from our local hospitals to other facilities for additional treatment. Like many industries, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are experiencing staffing shortages across the nation. In addition to low staffing numbers, each ambulance service has an obligation to comply with state and local requirements on protocol such as keeping a certain number of ambulances in the area to support 911 services. 

#LSN_Health  #LSN_MiNews 

Lake Superior water levels have declined and are approaching the seasonal long-term average

Robert McKenzie 0 4343 Article rating: No rating

THUNDER BAY, ONTARO  ~~~~~~~  August 4, 2021  (LSNews)  As a result of the drier than average weather and water supply conditions, Lake Superior water levels have declined and are approaching the seasonal long-term average. Conditions have been wetter in the Lake Michigan-Huron basin and water levels are midway between the seasonal long-term average and the record-high water levels that were observed last year. Lake Superior outflows continue to be set in consideration of water levels upstream and downstream.

#LSN_Shipping 

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