Overview of Cook County State
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has a mission to secure justice, uphold public health and safety, and provide extensive services as legal representatives in criminal prosecutions and civil litigations of over 5.2 million residents of the county. With over 900 attorneys and 1,500 support personnel, Cook County is one of the largest counties and the second-largest prosecutor’s Office in the United States. In order to do justice in the pursuit of thriving, safe, and strong communities, the State’s Attorney’s Office provides fair and efficient administration of justice, which denotes approaching challenges and prosecutions with integrity, and subsequently demanding accountability. These processes are well-endowed by the Assistant State’s Attorney and the support employees who are hired based on not only academic achievement but also of integrity and commitment to public service. These law enforcers and workers are continuously trained and educated throughout their careers.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office conducts and provides numerous vital functions, with a focus on the prosecution of criminal cases and conducting investigations to serve and aid the crime victims. The State’s Attorney’s Office also puts at the center of their work the commitment to restore and empower the community, with the help and cooperation of all our citizens. Truly, we all have a role to play in keeping our nation safe, and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office vows to continuously strive to serve and protect the citizens of our community, even more so, to reduce crime and bring justice for the victims of crimes.
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Victim Notification System
The new and improved Cook County’s Automated Victim Notification system, called VINELink, offers the victims, witnesses, and concerned parties of crimes two vital resources – information of the custody status of the defendant, including upcoming court dates, as well as notification of the release of the defendant from the Cook County Jail.
Information from the Automated Victim Notification system may be accessed through phone notifications, text messages, or email notifications. Information and services provided the Victim Notification System includes the Cook County Jail Inmate Custody Status, Circuit Court Case Information, and Additional Resources for the Victims such as 24-hour hotlines, Circuit Court Clerk’s Office Domestic Violence Program, and the State’s Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Assistance Program.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
The Cook County Board has rectified the state’s salary structure in response to the high turnover rates of public defenders to private practice. Cook County State’s Attorney Richard A. Devine proposed the grant for higher salaries for Assistant Public Defenders based on the salaries of Assistant State’s Attorneys who have about a similar experience and tenure. Moreover, State’s Attorney Richard Devine also put into light the need to consider the cost of living adjustments for the employees of the State’s Attorney’s Office. This concern was raised to the Cook County Board for adjustments just as has been done for the Public Defender’s Office, including personnel involved in collective bargaining agreements.
The Consumer Fraud Unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office provides services in order to recover losses, prosecutes offenders responsible for fraud, and aims to inform citizens to prevent the public from falling victim to the scheme.
The State’s Attorney’s Consumer Fraud Division offers information sheet of compiled details to prevent citizens from being at risk of losing property ownership and being the target of the Mortgage Rescue Fraud. Moreover, Identity theft – the stealing of one’s identity to make purchases ranging from cars to mortgages, leaving the victim’s credit rating in financial catastrophe. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the nation.
Bad Check Restitution Program
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office produced the Bad Check Restitution Program in response to the alarming financial loss due to bad checks, affecting local businesses and merchants.
The harm of bad checks includes the increase of taxes to retaliate and cover the costs of law enforcement and prosecution. Therefore, to address this growing concern, the Bad Check Restitution Program has been devised to assist local merchants, and obtain full restitution for the victim, without adding to the financial burden of the criminal justice system. Moreover, the program is said to operate with excellent collaboration between the private and the public sector. The Bad Check Restitution Program allows first-time bad check offenders the opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution through opting for the alternative interventions, which includes attending mandatory intervention class and
paying full restitution. This initiative spares the taxpayers of the state from unnecessary charges used to respond to the harm of bad checks.
Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has promoted the initiative of the Domestic Violence Division to aggressively combat and prosecute cases, focusing exclusively on the county-wide cases of domestic violence. The division works on one of the more complicated crimes in the State’s Attorney’s Office and works in collaboration with the Chicago and Suburban police departments in order to respond will full force to domestic violence cases.
Equal Opportunity Employer
The Equal Employment Opportunity Program, in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, is committed to providing equal opportunities for all. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office promotes equality through fair and impartial methods in Human Resources, including the intolerance for discrimination against any individual due to their race, color, sexual orientation, or gender identity, among others. The State’s Attorney’s Office aims to foster and promote a safe working environment for all employees, and a dependable public service office for its citizens.