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Journalism in the Public Interest

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Chicago Mayor Proposes Reforms That Would Make Life Easier for Thousands of Black and Low-Income Drivers

After more than a year of reporting from ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced ticketing changes and said she would support legislation to change state law — beginning to make good on a campaign promise.

Legisladores de Illinois Exigen que Funcionarios de Protección Infantil Mejoren Servicios para Familias Hispanohablantes

Oficiales estatales dicen ahora que quieren contratar más empleados bilingües y reclutar más familias de acogida hispanohablantes.

Chicago Can’t Hold Impounded Vehicles After Drivers File for Bankruptcy, Court Says

A federal appeals court said the city’s aggressive legal strategy, aimed at discouraging motorists with unpaid ticket debt from filing under Chapter 13, violated the basic protections of bankruptcy, and the city was doing so mostly to generate revenue.

Task Force on Tickets and Debt Suggests Reforms but Needs Chicago’s Mayor and City Council to Finish the Work

A report from the Chicago Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative responded to many of the problems ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ Chicago revealed.

Chicago’s Inspector General Finds the City’s Gang Database Is Riddled With Errors

The database has been accessed more than 1 million times, including some 32,000 times by immigration officials. Police said they will fix the database but not erase it.

Después de la controversia, Heartland va a cerrar cuatro albergues para jóvenes inmigrantes en Illinois

Al mismo tiempo, otro operador de albergues está intentando expandir su presencia en Chicago.

After Controversy, Heartland to Close Four Illinois Shelters for Immigrant Youth

At the same time, another shelter operator is trying to expand its footprint in Chicago.

Cook County Takes Steps to Erase Its Regional Gang Database

Commissioners are set to pass a law banning the database and requiring it to be destroyed.

6 Young Men, Given Adult Sentences for “Minor” Infractions, Are Freed in Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner commuted the sentences of the men, whose cases were documented in a ProPublica Illinois investigation last year, less than three weeks before leaving office.

Lawsuit Targets Illinois’ Child Welfare Agency Over Children Languishing in Psychiatric Hospitals

The suit against the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, filed on behalf of hundreds of children, claims holding them after doctors clear them for release compounds their trauma. “I felt trapped,” one teen said.

Illinois Regulators Are Investigating a Psychiatrist Whose Research With Children Was Marred by Misconduct

A former University of Illinois at Chicago researcher is at the center of a state medical licensing and disciplinary board inquiry.

Chicago Task Force Will Take on Ticket and Debt Collection Reform

The group is part of an effort to make vehicle ticketing less unfair.

A Chicago Psychiatric Hospital Will Lose Federal Funding Over Safety and Abuse Issues Involving Children in State Care

At the same time, a federal judge said he will appoint a monitor to oversee the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. “The stakes cannot be higher,” the judge said.

Chicago Throws Out 23,000 Duplicate Tickets Issued Since 1992 to Motorists Who Didn’t Have Vehicle Stickers

The move is the city’s latest effort to reform its troubled ticketing and debt collection practices.

ACLU of Illinois Demands Removal of Children in DCFS Care From Troubled Chicago Hospital

More allegations of sexual abuse at Aurora Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, already under government scrutiny, have surfaced.

Chicago City Council Members Seek Hearing on Psychiatric Hospital

Aldermen ask for hearing to address allegations of sexual and physical abuse at Aurora Chicago Lakeshore Hospital.

Chicago City Council Approves Modest First Reforms on Ticketing and Debt

The changes signal a growing acknowledgement that the city’s reliance on fines and fees to generate revenue has come at a significant cost for some residents.

Top Chicago Alderman Adds to Growing Momentum for Ticket and Debt Reform

The proposal, the latest in a series of reforms aiming to respond to growing public pressure, would make it easier for motorists to avoid having their driver’s licenses suspended.

Illinois DCFS Agrees to Outside Inquiry at Psychiatric Hospital Where Children Have Reported Abuse

Under mounting pressure, the state child welfare agency agreed to a broad investigation, but the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocates said they will remain vigilant.

Chicago Considers Wiping Away Old Ticket Debt for Motorists Who File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The proposal is intended to discourage drivers from filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but it does nothing to change onerous payment plans for motorists who don’t file at all.

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