The Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney is the second-largest prosecutor’s office in the United States. With close to 900 attorneys and over 1200 total employees, the Office represents the 5.2 million residents of Cook County in criminal prosecutions and civil matters, in courthouses around the County.
Too many neighborhoods in Cook County are plagued by unacceptably high levels of violence that take a tremendous toll on victims, families, and communities. At the same time, trust in the justice system is eroded, particularly in communities of color that have disproportionately borne the detrimental effects of mass incarceration and “tough on crime” policies of past decades. For too long, these two issues have been treated as mutually exclusive. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recognizes that working with the community — especially those most impacted by crime — increases public safety.
At the center of State’s Attorney’s Kim Foxx’s vision for a revitalized State’s Attorney’s Office is a core belief: That the job of the Office of the Cook County State’s Attorney is to promote public safety, and that public safety is best achieved by an Office that operates not with a “win at all costs” mentality, but rather with integrity, discretion, accountability, collaboration, and fairness. This platform of reform focuses on several key issues that have particular significance for criminal prosecution: rebuilding trust in the criminal justice system through transparency and accountability; the need to spend taxpayer dollars smartly by focusing resources on the most serious offenses while developing and expanding lower-cost alternative programs focused on rehabilitation and reducing recidivism; and ensuring that the office of the Cook County State’s Attorney is, at all times, focused on justice, in whatever form that takes in a particular case.
As such, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office top priorities are:
• Developing smart strategies to prevent and address violent crime;
• Promoting accountability and integrity within the Office;
• Cultivating trust through relationships with community and increased transparency;
• Supporting alternative programs that reduce recidivism through rehabilitation;
• Streamlining the operations of the Criminal Bureau to empower prosecutors and reduce case backlogs;
• Focusing on juveniles and emerging adults through developmentally-appropriate programs; and
• Safeguarding the interests of the residents of Cook County through the activities of the Civil Actions Bureau.
Through all of these priorities, the common thread is a commitment to addressing our most urgent challenge: promoting public safety. It is only by restoring trust in the office, reducing recidivism, supporting rehabilitation, improving cooperation, and increasing efficiency that the Office will be able to truly achieve the public safety gains that the people of Cook County demand and deserve.
Click here to download the Transition Report (PDF).