Prosecutors and law enforcement officials have been sending an excessive amount of DNA to the Illinois State Police crime lab. Individuals are ready in jail on account of the huge backlog. Plus, faculties throughout Illinois badly want extra lecturers. One statewide program has been attempting to recruit extra of them, as early as highschool. Additionally, earlier this yr a jail in Danville eliminated 200 books from an schooling program library. However now, after public strain, the books are again within the jail. And after greater than a century, the Chicago Defender will not be accessible in print. 

There aren’t sufficient lecturers in Illinois. This has been an issue for years: one survey by the Illinois Affiliation of Regional Superintendents of Colleges discovered that one in 5 positions final yr have been unfilled.

Legislators have proposed and handed some measures that they hope will assist, like a brand new funding components for public faculties and a rise within the minimal instructor wage. However there are additionally applications throughout the state which were attempting to assist fill this hole for years.

Certainly one of them is the Golden Apple Students program. You may know that title as a result of it’s additionally the group accountable for the Golden Apple Award, which honors glorious lecturers in our state. 

The Students program gives, amongst different issues, scholarships, help, and mentorship for college kids who’re planning to grow to be lecturers, they usually’re recruiting for one more cohort proper now.

Wanda Mendoza is a director at considered one of Golden Apple’s websites at Northern Illinois College. She additionally teaches third grade at Chicago Public Colleges. Akeelah Taylor is enrolled at that web site at NIU, the place she’s additionally a rising junior.

“Your first yr of instructing may be very disturbing… you begin off and also you’re very excited however you may lose your approach,” says Akeelah about #teacherburnout.

She’s being taught to take time to herself and attain out to others.”You do not have to do all of it by your self.”

— The 21st (@21stShow) July 11, 2019


The quantity of DNA proof being submitted to the Illinois State Police crime lab in Chicago has elevated dramatically lately.

Partly, it’s as a result of an excessive amount of proof is being collected, and generally that proof that isn’t even related to a selected case. 

WBEZ reporter Patrick Smith has been following this DNA backlog on the Illinois State Police, and the way this backlog is creating delays which can be inflicting some individuals to attend in jail or with ankle displays for take a look at outcomes.

.@pksmid says the #DNAbacklog has a significant impact on survivors:

“They’ll court docket dates, they often need to testify and are reliving this trauma… They cannot transfer previous it as a result of they’re nonetheless caught up within the authorized course of.”

— The 21st (@21stShow) July 11, 2019


In Could, the Illinois Newsroom reported that 200 books have been faraway from a jail schooling program library on the Danville Correctional Middle. Most of these books had one factor in frequent: they have been about race.

There’s been numerous strain on the Illinois Division of Corrections on the subject of books in prisons, each earlier than and after this story broke. One advocacy group is suing IDOC for censorship. Some authors of the eliminated books spoke out as properly. And simply this previous Monday, state lawmakers held a listening to in Chicago on this very situation.

There’s been one other current improvement on this story: employees on the jail schooling program say all the books have been returned to their library. And the brand new director of the state Division of Corrections says the company plans to assessment its coverage on which books are allowed in prisons.

Lee Gaines is the Illinois Newsroom reporter who initially broke this story.

“I wasn’t ready for the general public response. It went considerably viral and it unfold throughout the nation,” @LeeVGaines says concerning the response to her reporting.

She says it ranged from unhappiness to outrage.

— The 21st (@21stShow) July 11, 2019


On Wednesday, the final print version of The Chicago Defender hit newsstands. After greater than a century, the influential African American newspaper can be shifting to a digital solely format. 

Over its run, The Defender featured items from writers like Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks and was an vital voice within the battle for African American rights and civil liberties. 

With the assistance of the Pullman railway Porters who unfold the Defender alongside their routes, the paper reached a nationwide viewers and was an integral a part of bringing extra African Individuals to the North in the course of the Nice Migration. 

Ethan Michaeli is a former Defender staffer and the creator of The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Modified America. Glenn Reedus is The Defender’s former govt and managing editor.

“It is actually like a relative being misplaced,” @reedusreasons1 says concerning the remaining print version of the @ChiDefender.

— The 21st (@21stShow) July 11, 2019

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