Medill Newsmakers

Recovery Behind Bars: Cook County Jail’s Opioid Treatment Program

By Paige Tortorelli
Medill Reports

Every year, 5,000 detainees in Chicago’s Cook County Jail are treated for an opioid addiction. With such a large portion of its population using opioids, effective treatment has been a priority for this jail.

Much debate has arisen in the past few years about medical-assisted treatment in jail. In jails where this treatment is offered, detainees are usually given a medication called suboxone, which is a prescription narcotic that reduces opioid cravings. But the medication is very controversial. Suboxone itself is an opioid, so many people believe it replaces one addiction with another. Advocates say that it helps users stay clean both during and after their time in jail.

Fewer than one percent of U.S. jails offer opioid users medical-assisted treatment like suboxone, but Cook County Jail is in that one percent. Find out how treatment in this jail is creating more opportunities for detainees to stay opioid-free once they are released.

Photo at top: Looking into Cook County Jail from the wire fence. (Paige Totorelli/MEDILL)

Out, but not in: Examining barriers to reentry

By Kaisha Young

Medill Reports

Approximately 11,000 people are released from Illinois prisons each year. In this edition of Medill Newsmakers, we take a look at the challenges returning citizens face when trying to reenter society.

Photo at top: A man walks on the sidewalk outside Cook County Jail. (Kaisha Young/MEDILL)

City Pop and the rise of Internet Music

By Daniel Viegas
Medill Reports

Music is never something created within a vacuum. Time and place are the cornerstones for the very essence of a musical genre. These, along with culture, identity, politics and society all formulate trends within the musical space. Yet, the world no longer quite holds the same boundaries it once did. The internet has expanded to allow globalization to remove the shackles of proximity and temporal vicinity.

Right now, the internet is creating and cultivating its own culture based on the new connected world. This culture impacts the music itself with the internet housing genres that could only have formulated community within the digital space. 2018 saw the rise of a new genre that overtook YouTube. Unlike those before it, this was not so much a remix, but a rejuvenation and resurrection.

For Medill Newsmakers we explore the music, fans, curators and the rise of ‘City Pop’ from 1980’s Japan.

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Concussions: Living in the Solution

By Chris Cadeau
Medill Reports

We know about concussion dangers, the arguments that have ensued and the threat it poses to modern sports. But what are concussion survivors doing to ensure the best quality of life possible?

Join Medill Newsmakers as we explore a ‘day in the life’ of former NFL running back and Northwestern All-American Mike Adamle and his wife Kim, and learn how  a dementia diagnosis attributed to probable CTE changed their life. Hear how the Adamles, along with the Concussion Legacy Foundation and former Northwestern football player Quentin Williams, are influencing the world of post-concussion survivors.

South Side Story: Chicago family seeks justice as organizers challenge city’s reform efforts

By Javanna Plummer
Medill Reports

Flora Suttle, a retired police officer, said that Chicago’s consent decree is a necessary step forward. The decree is a court order designed to force an overhaul of the Chicago Police Department’s practices and policies. Suttle’s son Derrick was killed by a Chicago police officer in 2012. She suspects foul play and is seeking justice. In this edition of Medill Newsmakers, we learn more about the Suttle case and take a closer look at how Chicago policing affects Black communities in Chicago.

Photo at top: Photograph of Derrick Suttle who was killed by a police officer in 2012 standing with his daughter La’Rie. (Courtesy: Flora Suttle)

Birdies & Bird Watchers: The Dispute Over Jackson Park’s Golf Course

By Casey Bannon
Medill Reports

In 1899, Jackson Park became the first golf course built west of the Allegheny Mountains. Two decades later, some of the first black men’s golf leagues were formed on the property. Now, over a century after the first golf shots were struck on Jackson Park’s fairways, its golf course is the center of South Shore’s attention once again.

In partnership with Golf Channel and NBC’s Mark Rolfing, Tiger Woods’ proposed design to combine Jackson Park and South Shore’s 27 holes into one destination, championship style track seems close to fruition. The Chicago Parks Golf Alliance has stated that the project will be 100 percent privately funded, will create new sources of revenue for the South Side community, possibly host a professional tournament and will help expose local youth to life’s beautiful game. However, nothing gets built on this historic ground without some noise.

The renovation’s detractors have claimed that the potential $60 million project is a deal done behind closed Chicago doors. That there isn’t enough data to support the course being an economic engine. That the logistics of such a complicated re-design are far away from a Spring 2019 groundbreaking. That the loss of conservation areas and recreation facilities are too steep of a price to pay for hopes of hosting a PGA Tour event. And that 18 high-end holes might actually be less inclusive than 27 cheap ones.

In a battle over what’s best for their beloved community, the two sides have similar motives– but very different ideas on going about revitalizing Jackson Park.

Photo at top: Youth caddies look on as South Shore locals tee off at Jackson Park. (Chicago Parks Golf Alliance)

What the world can learn from Israel’s water reuse programs

By Karyn Simpson
Medill Reports

Negev Desert, Israel – A country that is 70 percent desert faces a unique challenge in finding sustainable water sources, but by treating and reusing approximately 90 percent of its wastewater, Israel has done just that.

The small country is light years ahead of the rest of the globe – the next closest competitor is Spain, which reuses around 30 percent of wastewater, according to Dr. Jack Gilron, head of the department of desalination and water treatment at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research.

Yet Israel’s success in wastewater treatment and reuse likely won’t translate effectively to other countries.

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Big Ten Media Days continues with Urban Meyer and Lovie Smith

By Nick Mantas
Medill Reports

Day 2 of Big Ten Media Days featured coaches with different realistic goals. Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer is searching for another national title while Illinois Head Coach Lovie Smith is looking to win a single game in the Big Ten conference this year.

Our reporters weighed on on both coaches and how one team is looking to heal after a death in the off season.

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The state of youth sports in Chicago

By Jordan Klein and Juliana Sherry
Medill Reports

Two youth sports in Chicago are in a state of flux. In this episode of Medill Newsmakers, reporters Jordan Klein and Juliana Sherry examine the citywide participation shortages facing youth tackle football and youth baseball.

Photo at top: A young pitcher stares down his opponent before delivering his pitch. (Juliana Sherry/MEDILL)