The front page of today's Chicago Tribune featured a very interesting article about the juvenile court in Markham. The juvenile court in Markham is the busiest in the country. According to the Chicago Tribune, Markham's juvenile court has a total of 2,072 pending cases. Chicago juvenile court has 911 open cases. Markham beats Chicago's busiest juvenile courtroom by twice as many cases. Markham's caseload is more than in Los Angeles and New York. Up to 120 juveniles a day appear in front of Judge Michael Stuttley in the basement of the Markham courthouse. The courtroom personal are overworked and unable to give all of the cases the attention they deserve. Starting January of 2010, a new state law will take effect which will allow 17 year olds charged with a misdemeanor to have their cases heard in juvenile court. This change in state law is expected to increase the caseload in Judge Stuttley's already overburdened courtroom. There are very few alternatives available to lessen the caseload in Markham. There is space in the Bridgeview courthouse but it is not accessible by public transportation. A new courtroom has been built and prepared in nearby Harvey, but it cannot be used because it is owned by the state. And the state's current budget problems leave very little room for options.
To read the actual article, click here.
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