Photo Gallery: Portraits of Cuba

By Giulia Petroni Medill Reports From Havana to Matanzas: away from 1950s Cadillacs and souvenirs of Che, these are the people we met, the streets we walked. Photo at top: Havana, Cuba. (Giulia Petroni/MEDILL).

In Cuba Family Means Collective Wisdom

By Giulia Petroni Medill Reports HAVANA — A sunbeam streams through the window and crosses the living room. It is 9 a.m., and Lesbia is opening the shutters while humming the notes of Cuban guajira. They resonate in her mind as the most powerful of memories. It was the late 1970s, and Lesbia was in […]

Black girls perceived, often treated as older and less innocent, study finds

By Giulia Petroni Medill Reports In the summer of 2012, a 15-year-old black girl was arrested by police for using her student MetroCard in Harlem, New York. Officers questioned her age – they thought she was too old to use a card valid only for youths under 19 – and kept her in costudy until […]

Photo Gallery: Students walk out to protest against gun violence

By Giulia Petroni and Ilana Marcus Medill Reports In solidarity with the National Walkout Day, students across the Chicago-area walked out of their classrooms to protest against gun violence. The 17-minute march — a minute for each life lost in the Parkland shooting — is intended to pressure U.S. Congress to pass gun control legislation. […]

Q&A: Liberty, Security, Sacrifice, Feeling Safe

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By Giulia Petroni Medill Reports The shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, demonstrate that the emotional impact of a tragedy leads people to question the existing security measures and demand for some reinforcements. The expanded use of metal detectors, lock-down policies and surveillance cameras, however, also challenge people’s freedom. Are individuals […]

Local boxing gym takes fighting off the streets

By Giulia Petroni Medill Reports For the last two and a half years, Juliana Hirales has been training at Little Village’s youth boxing gym 20 hours per week. One hundred and twenty-five pounds, 5’2″, and not afraid to punch. She was only 14 when she started fighting on the streets, a teenager dealing with her […]

More jail time won’t stop crime, fair-sentencing advocate argues

By Giulia Petroni Medill Reports On the day of his 17th birthday, Xavier McElrath-Bey was standing in a walkway of Cook County Jail, when he heard a very loud voice screaming: “Welcome to Division 1. If you wanna survive in this place, keep your mouth shut and mind your own business.” McElrath-Bey was waiting for […]

Juvenile-justice report: Incarceration doesn’t rehabilitate but family-based programs might

By Giulia Petroni Medill Reports Family-focused and community-based approaches are more effective than incarceration in rehabilitating offenders and creating safe communities, according to a new report on Illinois’ juvenile-justice system. Even when performing at their best, traditional prison-based systems not only fail in adequately supporting development and rehabilitation, but also cause an increase of costs […]

Pending budget causes uncertainty amongst Cook County’s employees

By Giulia Petroni Medill Reports Three weeks into the new year, Cook County’s budget for 2018 remains stalled by an ongoing lawsuit contesting major cuts, leaving the county’s justice system in an atmosphere of uncertainty. After the county’s board of commissioners approved 320 layoffs and cuts of over $200 million in order to fill the […]