January 30, 2019, marked one of the coldest days in Chicago’s history, with an early morning low of -23 degrees and a frigid high of -10. Schools, businesses, and public attractions all closed their doors against the dangerous cold, encouraging everyone to stay indoors. Downtown Chicago, devoid of its characteristic bustle, looked eerie and abandoned. Continue reading
By Chris Schulz
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Robert Kuzas considered 88 misdemeanor cases over the course of two hours at a recent 9 a.m. hearing. That is considered a moderately slow session in Branch 43, as the county’s misdemeanor court at 3150 W. Flournoy St. is known. Two more sessions filled that day with 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. court calls.
“Efficiency is the priority in most courtrooms,” said Joy Tull, one of the public defenders working at Branch 43.
To get through all those cases in the time allotted, the courtroom runs like a well-oiled machine. Assistant state’s attorneys and prosecutors stand shoulder to shoulder in front of the judge’s bench and consider case after case.
By Chris Schulz
Medical advocates always hope they will not receive this notification during their shift. Even though they have trained for the scenario, are certified by the state to respond and have volunteered their time for this exact reason, it is still heartbreaking. The notification means that someone, somewhere in a hospital in Chicago has just disclosed that they survived a sexual assault.
Medical advocates are dispatched on these calls by the organization they volunteer with, such as YWCA-Chicago or Resilience, notified directly by staff at the hospital.
Although she stresses that every case is different, Lindsay Cogan always tries to start her interactions with survivors by communicating: “This isn’t your fault. I believe you. You have options.”