It is the first attempt to compile detailed criminal justice information, including number of offenses reported, arrests, convictions, and sentences, on a countywide basis; base-line data on Chicago and its suburbs are also presented. Unlike previous studies, this report, using a computer program which counted defendants rather than cases or charges, tracks the flow of individuals through the system from arraignment to disposition of their cases. The findings indicate that the recent crackdown on illegal drugs has strained the resources of virtually every element in the system. There is a severe backlog of cases in the circuit court, resulting in court delays and more overcrowding of the county jail. These problems are largely the consequence of uncoordinated policy responses to public demands for stricter law enforcement, as well as legislative decisions to eliminate parole, decrease the availability of probation, and increase the length of many sentences. Although some attempts are being made at overcoming the system's fragmentation, this report recommends the establishment of a new countywide criminal justice planning agency, an essential step to allocate scarce resources. 432 footnotes, 83 figures, 129 references.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||204|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|