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Illinois Supreme Court announces appointments to Committee on Juvenile Courts

November 27, 2018

Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointments of Illinois judges to the newly formed Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Courts.


The Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Courts (the Committee) is tasked with reviewing and making recommendations on matters affecting juvenile law and juvenile courts, including child protection and delinquency systems. The Committee will review, analyze and examine the impact of legislation and case law as it relates to juvenile law and procedures and any aspect of the juvenile court process.


“For those involved in the administration of justice, few matters are as difficult or as important as the treatment of young people, whether they come before us as offenders, victims or witnesses. The number of at-risk youth is large and growing, made worse by our country’s ongoing social and economic problems and dwindling governmental resources, particularly at the state and local levels,” Chief Justice Karmeier said. “It has become clear that traditional approaches have failed or become financially unfeasible. It is therefore imperative that we find innovative new ways to improve outcomes for children, youth and families who are involved in court proceedings. The Supreme Court is hopeful that this new committee will continue the outstanding work done by the IJC Committee on Juvenile Justice in helping us find the way forward.”


The Committee is the successor to the Illinois Judicial Conference (IJC) Committee on Juvenile Justice, which "sunset" in accordance to the new IJC structure focused on long-term strategic planning for the Illinois Judicial Branch. The Committee will continue the work of the IJC Committee on Juvenile Justice on issues such as court forms, bench cards, and focus groups with parents and youths.


Committee tasks will also include recommendations on restorative justice programs, participating in the planning of the biennial juvenile training, and analyzing data collected through the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts participation in national projects to make recommendations to help reduce time to permanency for children in care and case processing for child protection courts.


“The appointment of members to the Special Committee on Juvenile Courts marks the next step in the evolution of the Illinois Supreme Court’s commitment to the improvement of our juvenile justice system," Justice Rita B. Garman said. "At the same time that the Special Committee is beginning its important work, the Illinois Judicial College and its various committees are working hard to develop curricula for the continuing professional education not only of judges, but also of guardians ad litem, probation officers, and all members of the judicial branch whose work impacts juvenile justice. One of the important roles of the Special Committee will be to integrate its work with that of the Illinois Judicial College to ensure that our juvenile justices system operates with the most current, most effective, and most just practices.”


The Committee is comprised of judges assigned to hear juvenile delinquency or child protection cases throughout the state, and includes a representative from the Appellate Court and judicial members from the relevant IJC Committees.


The following individuals are appointed members of the Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Courts, for terms expiring December 31, 2021:
Hon. Robert J. Anderson - Circuit Judge, Eighteenth Judicial Circuit
Hon. Andrea M. Buford - Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
Hon. Colleen F. Sheehan - Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
Hon. David A. Brown - Associate Judge, Tenth Judicial Circuit
Hon. Ericka Sanders - Associate Judge, Fourth Judicial Circuit
Hon. Michael P. Toomin - Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
Hon. Carl A. Walker - Appellate Judge, First District Appellate Court

The following individuals are appointed members of the Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Courts, for terms expiring December 31, 2022:

Hon. Daryl J. Jones - Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
Hon. Martin J. Mengarelli - Associate Judge, Third Judicial Circuit
Hon. Karen S. Tharp - Associate Judge, Seventh Judicial Circuit
Hon. Patricia Martin - Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
Hon. Ramon Ocasio III - Circuit Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
Hon. Patricia A. VanderMeulen-Walton - Associate Judge, Ninth Judicial Circuit

The following individuals are appointed members of the Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Courts, for terms expiring December 31, 2023:

Hon. Linda Abrahamson Baurle - Associate Judge, Sixteenth Judicial Circuit
Hon. Jerry J. Hooker - Associate Judge, Eighth Judicial Circuit
Hon. Stuart P. Katz - Associate Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County

Two seats on the Committee will be held by representatives from the Illinois Judicial College without terms. These spots will be held by the Vice Chair of the Illinois Judicial College Committee on Probation Education or his or her designee and the Vice Chair of the Illinois Judicial College Committee on Guardian ad Litem Education or his or her designee.

A representative of the Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices will serve as an ex officio member of the Supreme Court Committee on Juvenile Courts.

The Hon. Andrea M. Buford is Chairperson for a term expiring December 31, 2021.