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<v James Jordan>The kids have uh become more mobile because of stealing <v James Jordan>cars and getting around the city. <v James Jordan>They think nothing of stealing cars. <v James Jordan>They steal them right in front of this building. [music] <v John Callaway>Good evening, I'm John Callaway and welcome to Chicago tonight. <v John Callaway>There is no doubt that the Department of Children and Family Services and our juvenile <v John Callaway>court system are abysmal failures. <v John Callaway>There are reports that almost as many children are harmed as are benefited by coming <v John Callaway>under their common egis. Those were the words of an elder to an Illinois appellate <v John Callaway>court judgment in the recent high visibility case involving a little girl who <v John Callaway>came through Bob Greene's columns in the Tribune to be known as Sarah. <v John Callaway>What happened to Sarah was and is symptomatic of a juvenile justice system that has <v John Callaway>fallen into severe disrepute and apparent dysfunction.
<v John Callaway>Our program tonight is part of WTTW's Chicago Matters Partnership with <v John Callaway>the Chicago Community Trust, which this year is focusing attention on issues critical <v John Callaway>to the lives of children. This evening on Chicago Tonight, we'll see one of the most <v John Callaway>vocal critics of the juvenile justice system, Patrick Murphy, the Cook County Public <v John Callaway>Guardian in debate and discussion with the presiding judge of the juvenile division of <v John Callaway>the Cook County Circuit Court, Arthur M. Hamilton and with the administrative director <v John Callaway>of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Jeffrey M. <v John Callaway>Arnold. We will begin that debate and discussion after this background report from <v John Callaway>Chicago Tonight correspondent Chita Ragavan, who reminds us that once upon a time, the <v John Callaway>juvenile court of Cook County was something quite special. <v Chitra Ragavan>The Cook County Juvenile Court was the first juvenile court in the world. <v Chitra Ragavan>It was established in 1899, thanks to the efforts of renowned social worker <v Chitra Ragavan>Jane Addams and her colleagues Lucy Flowers, Julia Lathrop and others. <v Chitra Ragavan>Adams had founded Hull House in 1889 as a social experiment.
<v Chitra Ragavan>Now, a part of the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Hull House is located <v Chitra Ragavan>in what was then one of the most crowded and poor neighborhoods in the country and <v Chitra Ragavan>the main entry point for new immigrants to the city. <v Chitra Ragavan>The women of Hull House lobbied hard for a juvenile court after they saw the problems <v Chitra Ragavan>faced by delinquent children in their community, problems described by Julia Lathrop <v Chitra Ragavan>and portrayed in this recent WTTW documentary on Jane Addams. <v Actress for Jane Addams>[Documentary excerpt] Children over 10 years of age were arrested, held in the police <v Actress for Jane Addams>stations, tried in the police courts. <v Actress for Jane Addams>If convicted, they were usually fined. <v Actress for Jane Addams>And if the fine was not paid, they were sent to the city prison. <v Chitra Ragavan>The current director of the Health House Museum, Mary Ann Johnson, says Jane Addams and <v Chitra Ragavan>her colleagues recognized it was damaging for these children to be treated like adults <v Chitra Ragavan>and put in jail with adult offenders. <v Mary Ann Johnson>There was a tendency, as they felt, to rob children of their childhood <v Mary Ann Johnson>to treat them as adult offenders and not to treat them as special
<v Mary Ann Johnson>with special needs in terms of supervision and protection. <v Chitra Ragavan>Jane Addams idea of a separate court for children today has evolved into the second <v Chitra Ragavan>largest juvenile court system in the country, next only to Los Angeles. <v Chitra Ragavan>Its history is mostly forgotten, buried under the weight of criticism that the Cook <v Chitra Ragavan>County juvenile court system is overcrowded, overburdened, mismanaged <v Chitra Ragavan>and in desperate need for reform. <v Elaine Thigpen>I would describe it as being very chaotic. <v Elaine Thigpen>Judges and attorneys needing more education on child development to make <v Elaine Thigpen>better decisions about these children and what's in the best interest of the children. <v Elaine Thigpen>Needing public defenders to be more passionate about these parents and to serve them <v Elaine Thigpen>to do a better job doing that. <v Chitra Ragavan>The Cook County Juvenile Court handles abuse and neglect cases known as dependency cases <v Chitra Ragavan>from the Department of Children and Family Services or DCFS and criminal <v Chitra Ragavan>or delinquency cases from the Chicago and Suburban Police Departments. <v Chitra Ragavan>According to the Citizens Committee, an advisory group on the juvenile courts, last
<v Chitra Ragavan>year the court handled 24,289 cases compared <v Chitra Ragavan>to 15,905 in 1980. <v Chitra Ragavan>The most dramatic change in the last decade has been the increase in the numbers of abuse <v Chitra Ragavan>and neglect cases. In 1990, there were 6,246 <v Chitra Ragavan>cases compared to 1,950 in 1980. <v Chitra Ragavan>But although the number of cases have skyrocketed, the money from Cook County given to <v Chitra Ragavan>the juvenile courts has lagged behind. <v Chitra Ragavan>According to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, between 1975 <v Chitra Ragavan>and 1978, the number of juvenile court petitions increased 28 <v Chitra Ragavan>percent. But Cook County spending on the court declined 12 percent during <v Chitra Ragavan>that period. Between the overcrowding and the underfunding, it is the poor children <v Chitra Ragavan>who fall through the cracks, says case worker Elaine Thigpen. <v Elaine Thigpen>What usually what happens is the person who is rich usually get <v Elaine Thigpen>better services because they can go out and afford ya know an attorney. <v Elaine Thigpen>And then it seems that in this court, the judges prefer, I shouldn't say prefer,
<v Elaine Thigpen>but they give preference to the private attorneys rather than the public defenders and <v Elaine Thigpen>the states attorneys. And usually they end up getting out <v Elaine Thigpen>of the system much faster. <v Chitra Ragavan>Experts say not only are more kids committing crimes today but more children are arrested <v Chitra Ragavan>for serious crimes than in the past. <v Chitra Ragavan>James Jordan is the superintendent of the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention <v Chitra Ragavan>Center, better known as Howdy Home. <v Chitra Ragavan>It's the temporary holding cell for juvenile delinquents. <v Chitra Ragavan>Jordan has worked there more than 45 five years and says today's children are <v Chitra Ragavan>harder, tougher and more mobile than those of the past. <v James Jordan>They think nothing of stealing cars. <v James Jordan>They steal them right in front of this building. <v James Jordan>We've had three or four cars stolen right around this area. <v James Jordan>You parked down the street, didn't you? I hope you'll be safe. <v Chitra Ragavan>James Jordan says over the weekend alone, 95 children were arrested and placed <v Chitra Ragavan>in the temporary detention center, which, like the juvenile court system, is facing <v Chitra Ragavan>serious overcrowding and needs immediate attention.
<v James Jordan>Our staff is stretched as far <v James Jordan>as they can go. <v James Jordan>We have to work people overtime. <v James Jordan>And when we work them overtime, we have to pay them time and <v James Jordan>a half. It's an expensive proposition. <v James Jordan>It'll cost the county a lot of money. <v Chitra Ragavan>This could be an expensive year for Cook County because according to the Office of the <v Chitra Ragavan>Chief Probation Officer of Juvenile Court, in March alone, at least 750 <v Chitra Ragavan>children were arrested and brought to the juvenile court. <v Chitra Ragavan>For Chicago Tonight, I'm Chitra Ragavan. <v John Callaway>Now joining us to discuss the problems and the possibilities of the juvenile court system <v John Callaway>and Cook County are Arthur M. Hamilton, who is the presiding judge of the juvenile <v John Callaway>division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, a position that he has held for the past 10 <v John Callaway>years. Patrick Murphy, public guardian of Cook County, a position that he's held for <v John Callaway>the past 13 years. And Jeffrey Arnold, administrative director of the Cook County <v John Callaway>Circuit Court. And that's a position he's held for the past 12 years.
<v John Callaway>So we've got a lot of experience at the table this evening, and I hope we can have a good <v John Callaway>discussion about these issues. <v John Callaway>Mr. Murphy, on this program last week, we discussed the case. <v John Callaway>I think a lot of people in Chicago have read Bob Greene's columns about Sarah in the news <v John Callaway>coverage, the longtime practice of sending dependent or abused children back to their <v John Callaway>biological parents, even if, as in the case of Sarah, <v John Callaway>there had been a real deep bonding with foster parents. <v John Callaway>You were invited on that program last week, could not be with us because of the illness <v John Callaway>in your family. And I just wondered if you could begin by giving us an overview of <v John Callaway>the Sarah case and the appellate court ruling on it. <v Patrick Murphy>Well, we we represented Sarah and we were the only office we took that took the position <v Patrick Murphy>that Sarah should stay with her foster parents and not be returned to the <v Patrick Murphy>natural parents. After Bob Greene wrote his articles and DCFS flipped and the state's <v Patrick Murphy>attorney flipped and came over at our side. We're glad they did. <v Patrick Murphy>Sarah lived for six years with these um uh foster parents, <v Patrick Murphy>bonded to them. They did everything. They took her to school, potty trained her, et
<v Patrick Murphy>cetera. And then the natural parents showed up and said, we've reformed. <v Patrick Murphy>He was a pimp. She was a prostitute. They were both into drugs. <v Patrick Murphy>And the court gave the kid back. <v John Callaway>Gave them back to those people who said they were reformed. <v Patrick Murphy>Reformed and. <v John Callaway>After this bonding process occured? <v Patrick Murphy>Indeed, indeed, they may have reformed, but they did four or five years later. <v Patrick Murphy>And under federal law, under state law, there should have been reviews every six months <v Patrick Murphy>and certainly every 18 months to determine what was happening. <v John Callaway>And why weren't there those reviews? <v Patrick Murphy>Well, because both the court and especially DCFS in <v Patrick Murphy>the past decade or so simply hasn't been following the law. <v John Callaway>Why haven't they been following the law? They get up in the morning and say, let's abuse <v John Callaway>the law? <v Patrick Murphy>Well, I think what happened is, is you know when you said there's 6,000 neglect cases <v Patrick Murphy>last year, those are the number filed. There's 25 tho- there is 24,000- almost 24,000 <v Patrick Murphy>abuse and neglect cases in juvenile court. <v Patrick Murphy>And that's because if I bring Patrick Murphy to court on a neglect case, <v Patrick Murphy>he stays in the system until he's 18 or 21 and someone else comes <v Patrick Murphy>in behind him. So there's all kinds of kids there. <v Patrick Murphy>What happened is that the number of judges in the system increased slightly
<v Patrick Murphy>while the number of cases ballooned and there weren't enough judges to really look at <v Patrick Murphy>what was going on with the kids in the system. <v John Callaway>Is the Sarah case uh an aberration or is it representative <v John Callaway>of something that we really a larger problem? <v Patrick Murphy>It's representative of a larger problem is also representative of a mindset that that <v Patrick Murphy>has happened in the last 20 years in this country, and that is that biological <v Patrick Murphy>parents' right should be considered no matter what they've done to the kids. <v Patrick Murphy>I've seen biol- a mother, for instance, who broke 13 bones in her infant's <v Patrick Murphy>body, scalded the kid over two thirds of the body. Did two years in the joint come out <v Patrick Murphy>and say she's reform and got the kid back from loving foster parents who had raised this <v Patrick Murphy>kid for four years. And then when the mother after she got the kid back, by the way, the <v Patrick Murphy>foster mother died of a heart attack, probably no doubt of a broken heart. <v Patrick Murphy>And then when the natural parents said that they were ordered to counseling <v Patrick Murphy>by the judge and when they said it was too hard to go, DCFS has hired a van and took them <v Patrick Murphy>to counseling. At your at our expense, at the taxpayers expense. <v Patrick Murphy>So that was what has happened, was that someone they took a good idea.
<v Patrick Murphy>That's a problem of a lot of bureaucracy, good idea is the biological parents shouldn't <v Patrick Murphy>willy nilly lose their children. And in fact, they're the best vehicle to raise their <v Patrick Murphy>kids. But they took a good idea and just with blinders followed it <v Patrick Murphy>without saying, well, there are certain cases and many cases indeed, where they shouldn't <v Patrick Murphy>get to the kid back. <v John Callaway>In a letter to me, you suggested that you yourself had that mindset many years ago, <v John Callaway>but the circumstances changed. <v Patrick Murphy>In the 60s, I represented- I wrote a book was published in 1974 where <v Patrick Murphy>this was the point of my book. <v Patrick Murphy>And certainly I spent eight years either as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa or in the <v Patrick Murphy>west side of Chicago as a lawyer. <v Patrick Murphy>We won some of the victories. The problem a lot of people today don't understand that the <v Patrick Murphy>system is different. The kids coming into the system are much more hard core. <v John Callaway>Is this a drug related phenomenon? <v Patrick Murphy>Roughly 80 percent of the cases my lawyers have theorized to come in, come to the <v Patrick Murphy>juvenile court on abuse, neglect, have something to do with drugs and maybe sexual abuse. <v Patrick Murphy>And that's because the mother's lover is having sex with a 6 year old daughter. <v Patrick Murphy>But there's drugs involved. He's also the mother's drug supplier.
<v Patrick Murphy>So the mother may be out and abandoned the kid so it's abandonment, but she's out in the <v Patrick Murphy>streets doing drugs. <v Patrick Murphy>So we think about 80 percent of all the neglect and abuse are directly related to drug <v Patrick Murphy>abuse, plus the fact you're getting tremendous amount of sex abuse these days you never <v Patrick Murphy>had 20 years ago. <v John Callaway>One last kind of parenthetical question, because we want to know who the players are. <v John Callaway>What does the public guardian do? What does your office do? <v Patrick Murphy>Well, we have three divisions. One division deals with the elderly, where the guard <v Patrick Murphy>guardian people who are senile, one division deals with children and divorce cases, those <v Patrick Murphy>you're not concerned with. We have 50 lawyers and 20 social workers who act as lawyers <v Patrick Murphy>for abused and neglected children in juvenile court. <v Patrick Murphy>In that respect, we've gotten in battles with the juvenile court and <v Patrick Murphy>we've sued DCFS and got many battles with them. <v John Callaway>Alright now, Judge Hamilton, let's go over and get your view, your retrospective overview <v John Callaway>of the Sarah case. What does it mean to you? <v Arthur Hamilton>Well, John, as I told your producer, before I got came on the show, <v Arthur Hamilton>I was very uh I'm reluctant to discuss the Sarah case for the simple
<v Arthur Hamilton>reason that this case is still pending in our division because it has been <v Arthur Hamilton>remanded to the original trial judge for a rehearing and <v Arthur Hamilton>it still has to be decided. <v Arthur Hamilton>And so any comments that I will make on the problem that seems to be indicated <v Arthur Hamilton>by the decision or by the comments that you and Pat have made so far <v Arthur Hamilton>will be, in a sense, limited, because, again, I have this this ini-inhibition <v Arthur Hamilton>about about commenting upon the appellate court decision. <v John Callaway>Forget about that. Can you address yourself to some of the larger issues? <v Arthur Hamilton>Well, yes, I will. <v Arthur Hamilton>For instance, first of all, we must recognize <v Arthur Hamilton>that uh we're not claiming that our juvenile court is perfect, <v Arthur Hamilton>because I think that all <v Arthur Hamilton>impartial observers who are really familiar with what the court is doing will <v Arthur Hamilton>recognize that we have have had limited resources,
<v Arthur Hamilton>that we have never had sufficient resources to do the kind of job that <v Arthur Hamilton>would be required in an ideal situation. <v John Callaway>But do you agree with the appellate court that the do not vote system is an abysmal <v John Callaway>failure? <v Arthur Hamilton>I'm sorry. No, I certainly don't agree with that. <v Arthur Hamilton>And I really would like to to go more into <v Arthur Hamilton>it why I don't, but I would suffice to say that I believe that the <v Arthur Hamilton>the the the question of of of of <v Arthur Hamilton>joining the court with the DCFS as far as <v Arthur Hamilton>the failure in a case of of the kind that's under consideration. <v Arthur Hamilton>I think it is unfair to the court. I think that people should understand. <v Arthur Hamilton>And I think that your viewers should understand that the juvenile court <v Arthur Hamilton>is an evolving institution. <v Arthur Hamilton>That is. For instance, I have been out there for for 19 years and uh <v Arthur Hamilton>to give you some idea uh so grasp of the way the court is evolving. <v Arthur Hamilton>I will point out to you that when I started in '72, we had one
<v Arthur Hamilton>judge, one courtroom dealing with neglected and abused children, one. <v Arthur Hamilton>And on-in that courtroom, we had three lawyers in there. <v Arthur Hamilton>Today we have six such trial courts dealing with these same cases. <v Arthur Hamilton>And in each of those cases, we have nine lawyers instead of three. <v John Callaway>Are you still just as overloaded and overburdened as you were before? <v Arthur Hamilton>We are more overloaded. And I will give you just quickly I'll give you some idea. <v Arthur Hamilton>In other words, the number of new the number of new cases <v Arthur Hamilton>of neglect and abuse cases that were filed are referred to the court in 19 <v Arthur Hamilton>in 1990 was 500 percent more than was <v Arthur Hamilton>referred to the court in 1972. <v Arthur Hamilton>And to deal with that, we've had in effect, we have 600 percent more <v Arthur Hamilton>judges because we have six times one. <v Arthur Hamilton>But not withstanding the fact that we have the the six judges, <v Arthur Hamilton>the actual trials of the cases completed by those six judges
<v Arthur Hamilton>in 1990 were only 41 percent of the number <v Arthur Hamilton>that I as the only judge completed in 1972. <v Arthur Hamilton>Likewise, the number of guardians that were appointed in 1990 by <v Arthur Hamilton>those six judges, we're only what were on were only <v Arthur Hamilton>were only 33 percent more. <v Arthur Hamilton>If I said 41 percent as far as the trial. <v John Callaway>The point is you're flooded. <v Arthur Hamilton>The point is I'm flooded. And the thing that must be understood <v Arthur Hamilton>is that the judges who hear cases today or face an <v Arthur Hamilton>entirely different situation. The laws have been changed. <v Arthur Hamilton>More is required of the judges by statute. <v Arthur Hamilton>In addition to that, the additional nine lawyers in the courtroom <v Arthur Hamilton>mean that aside from the fact that lawyers are now more <v Arthur Hamilton>aware and more knowledgeable about juvenile justice issues, <v Arthur Hamilton>the mere fact that they are nine of them moves that these cases are more intensively
<v Arthur Hamilton>litigated than they were in that period of time. <v John Callaway>Alright I want to go to Jeffrey Arnold and I'll reintroduce you as the administrative <v John Callaway>director of the Circuit Court of Cook County. <v John Callaway>Judge Comerford wanted you to be on this program this evening, didn't want the judge to <v John Callaway>be on alone, Pat Murphy said, fine, bring him on. <v John Callaway>What do you do and what's your responsibility in all of this? <v Jeffrey Arnold>Well, I guess my responsibility in assisting the chief judge is to help <v Jeffrey Arnold>him manage a huge court. The juvenile division is a part of a 390 <v Jeffrey Arnold>judged court. <v Jeffrey Arnold>It has an important caseload, as do the other divisions in the court. <v Jeffrey Arnold>We have been working over years to improve their situation at juvenile. <v Jeffrey Arnold>I remember the first time I walked into the juvenile court, which was, I believe early in <v Jeffrey Arnold>1968, and it wasn't in the building that you're videotape showed. <v Jeffrey Arnold>It was in a Gothic horror, as I recall. <v Jeffrey Arnold>Children came across from the audy home, handcuffed together in a daisy chain. <v Jeffrey Arnold>It was mothers screaming in the hall, 'They're taking my baby away.' We worked
<v Jeffrey Arnold>through to get a new building. And somehow it's it's interesting, as I recall it, that <v Jeffrey Arnold>the building that the people are now complaining about started out to replace <v Jeffrey Arnold>a ten courtroom facility and ended up being a 10 courtroom facility with a four story <v Jeffrey Arnold>jail. <v Jeffrey Arnold>We've been working, I think, to remedy that as well. <v Jeffrey Arnold>And part of this is as a background, because none of these things change overnight. <v Jeffrey Arnold>There is under construction this moment of 14 courtrooms, seven <v Jeffrey Arnold>story addition to the juvenile division. <v John Callaway>When will it be finished? <v Jeffrey Arnold>Well, it's really a good question. I think we're looking at about two and a half years. <v John Callaway>Pat Murphy, let's go back and get your basic overview critique of juvenile court. <v John Callaway>Aside from the let's not come back a lot on overcrowding that's been established, the <v John Callaway>caseload. What about the what about the training and quality of the judges? <v John Callaway>What about the the whole mix of criminal and neglect? <v Patrick Murphy>And you talk about the quantity you're leaving out in the equation. <v Patrick Murphy>And that is that the average caseload for neglected abuse is over 3,000
<v Patrick Murphy>per judge. The average caseload in criminal court is about four or 500 per <v Patrick Murphy>judge. If you go to the chancery and law divisions, it's well under 1,000 divorce, <v Patrick Murphy>four or 500 county again, well under 1,000. <v Patrick Murphy>And I've practiced I've argued in the US Supreme Court and in every court on down. <v Patrick Murphy>The most difficult court I've ever practiced in is in Judge Hamilton's courtrooms. <v John Callaway>Why? <v Arthur Hamilton>Because a judge has 3,000 cases, he has maybe 50 or 60 cases a day. <v Arthur Hamilton>She's got to make a decision which is going to affect the child for a lifetime, a family <v Arthur Hamilton>for a lifetime, in maybe three or four minutes. <v Arthur Hamilton>That's pressure and stress, in the Supreme Court you get six months to brief and argue <v Arthur Hamilton>one issue. <v Arthur Hamilton>And yet we give Judge Hamilton no resources. <v Arthur Hamilton>And that's because there's no clout. When you're talking about a courtroom of poor kids, <v Arthur Hamilton>primarily black and brown. They don't have the clout. <v Arthur Hamilton>The clouted lawyers practice in Chancery, in the law division, in the criminal division <v Arthur Hamilton>and the county division. So that's where the resources are. <v John Callaway>So right there, just for starters here, it's the bottom of the barrel in the court
<v John Callaway>system. <v Patrick Murphy>It is backwater and it's backwater, it also because, I know Judge Hamilton disagrees with <v Patrick Murphy>me on this, I don't think it should be part of a criminal justice system. <v Patrick Murphy>When you're talk about abuse and neglect, it's civil, you're talking about taking kids <v Patrick Murphy>away. <v John Callaway>You want to separate those out? You want them in a different building different? <v Patrick Murphy>Different building, different everything about it. It shouldn't be- but also, they need <v Patrick Murphy>more resources. You can't, It there were the six best judges in the system, and the <v Patrick Murphy>quality's improved greatly in the last couple of years, primarily because of Judge <v Patrick Murphy>Hamilton's consistent lobbying. <v Patrick Murphy>But when you have six judges hearing this many cases, there's going to be chaos and <v Patrick Murphy>there's going to be neglect. <v John Callaway>You know, it's interesting. You give him cred-you're not uh nobody can accuse you of <v John Callaway>being his buddy and you give him credit for the work that he's done. <v John Callaway>And yet the Chicago Council of Lawyers has written to Judge Comberford the Chief Justice <v John Callaway>of the Circuit Court requesting that he reassign Judge Hamilton. <v John Callaway>They say he's a great trial judge, but that he doesn't bring the leadership. <v John Callaway>You're saying that he- <v Patrick Murphy>I want to hog the camera for one second. <v Patrick Murphy>The Chicago Council of Lawyers is allegedly a liberal progressive group of lawyers. <v Patrick Murphy>I have never seen any of them in the management part of the
<v Patrick Murphy>practice of the juvenile court. They all work for large fancy law firms. <v Patrick Murphy>They practice in downtown courtrooms. <v Patrick Murphy>They never get out there. The ACLU criticized Judge Hamilton, their lawyers who do <v Patrick Murphy>juvenile work practice in federal court. They bring class actions. <v Patrick Murphy>They don't work out there. And so why did they criticize Judge Hamilton? <v Patrick Murphy>He's got six judges. He doesn't ask for six judges, <v Patrick Murphy>he's asked for the quantity or quality. He needs more. <v Patrick Murphy>They could criticize the folks downtown, but they don't because they're afraid to do <v Patrick Murphy>that, because they've got to practice in those divisions. These are the folks who decide <v Patrick Murphy>how many judges Judge Hamilton get. <v Patrick Murphy>The Chicago Council of lawyers only criticize Judge Hamilton. <v Patrick Murphy>I wanna go a step further, and that is that Judge Hamilton is one of the two black <v Patrick Murphy>presiding judges in the whole system. <v Patrick Murphy>We expect blacks in our society to be superstars. <v Patrick Murphy>They can't be mortals if they have a managerial position like the rest of us and make a <v Patrick Murphy>few mistakes. So they go after him. <v Patrick Murphy>Why don't they go after someone else? <v Patrick Murphy>The people downtown who give them the number. And I just think it's to me, it was the <v Patrick Murphy>worst kind of abuse when these lawyers don't even practice there, they see the results
<v Patrick Murphy>the results are bad. <v John Callaway>Yep. <v Patrick Murphy>But you've got to look at the numbers and you got to look what's going on. <v John Callaway>Alright, aside from the overwhelming caseload, there is the issue that's been set <v John Callaway>on the table by Mr. Murphy of the separation of criminal <v John Callaway>and neglect and dependency cases. <v John Callaway>Mr. Murphy is arguing that they should be heard in a different building. <v John Callaway>Does that merit? <v Arthur Hamilton>I think there is there is a certain merit to his position, <v Arthur Hamilton>but I don't agree with the conclusion at this point in time. <v Arthur Hamilton>For this reason. First of all, I'd like to to to to note that <v Arthur Hamilton>we now have in the present building, we now have the neglected <v Arthur Hamilton>and abused children confined to one side of the building and the delinquent <v Arthur Hamilton>calendars where they deal with children who are who are charged with a criminal offense <v Arthur Hamilton>on the other side of the building. And we must give Mr. Mr. Murphy credit. <v Arthur Hamilton>This is due to Mr. mr. Mr. Mr. Murphy's urgings. <v John Callaway>And how long ago did that separation take place? <v John Callaway>That segregation. <v Arthur Hamilton>Hmm Pat how long before that?
<v Patrick Murphy>When we took over the GL's office four years ago. <v Patrick Murphy>Four years ago. <v John Callaway>So that's been- is that is that a step in the right direction given reality? <v Patrick Murphy>Oh sure, and the next step whichJudge Hamilton is about to talk about it's a step in the <v Patrick Murphy>right direction,. <v John Callaway>Which is? <v Patrick Murphy>But still not far enough. <v John Callaway>Okay, but which is? <v Arthur Hamilton>Which is the which is the annex that we are going-we hope to have in two and a half <v Arthur Hamilton>years, which we will which we will, which will be exclusively <v Arthur Hamilton>neglect and abuse cases. <v Arthur Hamilton>So they will be out of the building, so to speak. <v Arthur Hamilton>But the problem with the suggestion that they not <v Arthur Hamilton>be in the building is that given the present circumstances and the present <v Arthur Hamilton>resources that we now have available, there is a demand for <v Arthur Hamilton>many more resources in terms of additional courtrooms, <v Arthur Hamilton>probation staff and so forth. <v Arthur Hamilton>That, in my opinion, take precedence over the idea, over the idea <v Arthur Hamilton>of a separate location, because the separate location will involve decentralization <v Arthur Hamilton>of our files. Logistically, it would create a great deal of problem.
<v John Callaway>So it's a logistical problem? <v Arthur Hamilton>It's a logistical problem. Maybe some day in the future. <v John Callaway>Alrght, Mr. Arnold, let's go, however, back to this, this notion of treating the juvenile <v John Callaway>court system as the backwater of the courts. <v John Callaway>I mean, Mr. Murphy, it just seems to me are overwhelming. <v John Callaway>What's the politics of this? What do you have to send a message to Governor <v John Callaway>Edgar? Do-does the message need to be sent to Mr. Feiglin of the county board, who <v John Callaway>finances and leads to do something about this? <v Jeffrey Arnold>Well financing, the buildings are financed by the county, <v Jeffrey Arnold>and the county is spending a great deal of money trying to remedy the defect. <v Jeffrey Arnold>The judges are funded by the state. <v Jeffrey Arnold>And I might add, it seems ironic to us that at a time when everyone's saying <v Jeffrey Arnold>we're short of resources, that we're involved in a judicial redistricting bill that in a <v Jeffrey Arnold>sense cuts down our ability to replace judges who leave. <v Jeffrey Arnold>The census just deprived us deprived us of another five judges. <v Jeffrey Arnold>And if you've noticed what's going on in the legislature, spending more money on courts <v Jeffrey Arnold>is not high on their list of things to do.
<v Jeffrey Arnold>So um we're going to have to make do with the manpower we have. <v Jeffrey Arnold>And it's being stretched in all directions. <v Jeffrey Arnold>We have a county jail that's grossly overcrowded. <v Jeffrey Arnold>We've opened up 8 night narcotics courts. <v Jeffrey Arnold>The drug problem is not merely affecting the juvenile <v Jeffrey Arnold>aspect of things. And everywhere we look, someone you're saying ours is the backwater <v Jeffrey Arnold>of the center. <v Patrick Murphy>Except the pie, our pie is too small. When you've got three with no judge should have a <v Patrick Murphy>caseload of these types of cases of over 3,000 per judge. <v Patrick Murphy>When a chancery judge has 700. <v John Callaway>Mr. Murphy, your point, just to underscore. <v Patrick Murphy>Let the corporations let the corporations who deal with how much how many widgets and how <v Patrick Murphy>many dollars that fight over these disenchant to let them have a little more <v Patrick Murphy>time to wait before their case is tried. And let the let the the kid who's been abused <v Patrick Murphy>and who is with DCFS and gotten sent from foster home to foster home. <v Patrick Murphy>Let that kid have a better shot. <v Patrick Murphy>All I want is a bigger you know, there's only I agree with Jeff. <v Patrick Murphy>There is only the pie is only so big. <v Patrick Murphy>I just want someone else to have a smaller piece and us tohave a larger.
<v John Callaway>And you're also talking about the front end of the system that is children. <v John Callaway>Because if you if you screw it up at this level at the age of two, three, four, five and <v John Callaway>six, then you've got a lifetime. Do you not have harm? <v Patrick Murphy>The situation, I think the situation. <v Patrick Murphy>So bad with respect to our children in our major cities that it's going to <v Patrick Murphy>take a generation of hard work of all of us to overcome by all of us to overcome. <v John Callaway>Do you get any sense that Governor Edgar has a sense of priority about this? <v John Callaway>Do you believe him when he says he wants to redo the Department of Children and Families <v John Callaway>Services? <v Patrick Murphy>All I know is that Edgar appointed a previous person <v Patrick Murphy>who ran for political office and lost as the Director of Children and Family Services. <v Patrick Murphy>And I think that if he had a commitment to it, he would go out and find an experienced, <v Patrick Murphy>top notch child welfare person, which, by the way, the guy that had the job in <v Patrick Murphy>the last six months of the Thompson administration was Jess McDonnell. <v Patrick Murphy>He was a child welfare guy, an ex-Vietnam, a decorated Vietnam vet, a tough guy, knew <v Patrick Murphy>what he was doing, was kicked out in favor of a politician. <v Patrick Murphy>So, no, I don't think he's got a commitment. <v John Callaway>Alright, on that note, we want to thank Judge Arthur M.
Chicago Tonight
Episode Number
No. 8171
Juvenile Court
Producing Organization
WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This episode of Chicago Tonight was hosted by John Callaway and features a discussion of the juvenile court system in Chicago. Those invited to discuss are lawyer Cook County Public Guardian Patrick Murphy; Arthur N. Hamilton, the presiding judge of the juvenile division of the Cook County Circuit Court; and the administrative director of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Jeffrey M. Arnold. Reporter Chitra Ragavan also gives a short historical background on Chicago's juvenile justice system, including the role of Jane Addams. Ragavan interviews Mary Ann Johnson, current director of the Hull House Museum; Elaine Thigpen, a caseworker in the Public Guardian's Office; and James Jordan, superintendent of the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center.
Series Description
"CHICAGO MATTERS, a three-year-long project exploring issues of concern to the community, focused on children in 1991. A unique mixture of programming examines some of the [problems] facing children today and offered viable solutions. "Included in this series are PROTECT YOURSELF: TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT AIDS, which addresses one of the leading threats to our youth and promotes prevention through education; WHAT'S OUT THER FOR J.R', which explores the state of the social service networks that provide help to youths in crisis; the CHICAGO MATTERS TOWN MEETING examines the community support systems available to children, bringing together city officials, park district representatives, parents, children and child development experts in a live 'town meeting' setting."--1991 Peabody Awards entry form.
"CHICAGO MATTERS, a three-year-long project exploring issues of concern to the community, focused on children in 1991. A unique mixture of programming examines some of the [problems] facing children today and offered viable solutions. "Included in this series are PROTECT YOURSELF: TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT AIDS, which addresses one of the leading threats to our youth and promotes prevention through education; WHAT'S OUT THER FOR J.R?, which explores the state of the social service networks that provide help to youths in crisis; the CHICAGO MATTERS TOWN MEETING examines the community support systems available to children, bringing together city officials, park district representatives, parents, children and child development experts in a live 'town meeting' setting."--1991 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Chicago: “Chicago Tonight; No. 8171; Juvenile Court,” 1991, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “Chicago Tonight; No. 8171; Juvenile Court.” 1991. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Chicago Tonight; No. 8171; Juvenile Court. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from