July 19, 2011
Community Based Corrections
Field Visit #1
On Thursday, 7/14/2011, I was afforded the opportunity to visit the Circuit Court of Cook County. This facility temporarily houses inmates awaiting trial. There are a total of thirty-two court rooms, which handles adult felony cases. The courts have about 400 cases each day, containing around 150 new cases. Judge Evelyn Clay stated that approximately 90% of all the felony cases are resolved by plea bargaining, and are not tried using the traditional bench or jury trial. The typical population served at this facility is African American and Latino males, between the ages of 17-25. Most of the clients have limited family background, and about 85% has no high school education. While observing the facility, the staff appeared very enthused about their position, and seemed to enjoy helping the clients. Ms. Cynthia Green, court liaison, pointed out relevant information on the requirements of a probation officer. Two of the most important requirements were to have received a bachelor’s degree and have a passion for the position. Her perspective of the probation program is that, it is up to you to make the program in providing the best possible services for your client to succeed. Overall, the staff was very helpful and eager to answer any question that arisen. The probation program is sentenced by the judge. The judge gives a certain period of time that the client will be under the supervision of a probation officer. If a client fails to comply with the terms of his or her probation the client will be sentenced to jail time. In some cases clients do complete their probation period, and become law abiding citizens. Majority of the clients continue to offend, which results to violating probation terms, and jail time. Overall this was a great field visit, and my first field visit. I enjoyed all the valuable information that was given from the staff. I found it very interesting...
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