Glasgow Cuts Ribbon on Unprecedented Residential Facility Serving Problem Solving Court Participants

June 25, 2019

Joliet –Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow officially opened the doors to the Connor Kelly Residence, a new transitional housing facility for eligible Will County Problem Solving Courts participants established to provide long-term help and support to individuals reentering society and the workplace. Joining Glasgow in the ribbon cutting ceremony were Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride; Will County Executive Larry Walsh; Will County Circuit Court Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt; Will County Board Speaker Denise Winfrey; Friends of the Will County Problem Solving Courts board members Anne Dralle, Suzanne Hart, and Tyler Marcum, who also is a Will County Board member; a resident of the facility; and relatives of Connor Kelly, in whose memory the residence is named. Connor Kelly died of an opioid overdose on March 13, 2014, at the age of 18. Will County Board Member Rev. Herb Brooks offered the dedication.

“The Connor Kelly Residence is yet another step in the unprecedented accomplishments of the Will County Problem Solving Courts, which are at the forefront not only here in Illinois, but nationwide, in helping non-violent individuals reintegrate back into the community through innovative initiatives,” Glasgow said. “Instead of simply punishing people who often come to us broken, we are working together with them to rebuild their lives. Together, we are helping participants make their way out of the dark tunnel of addiction.”

Connor Kelly’s family provided a generous donation that assisted the State’s Attorney’s Office in turning the vision of a longer-term residence into a reality.

“The Problem Solving Courts want you, your neighbors, your friends, and any of your family members struggling with addiction to know that there is a place and there are people they can turn to,” McCabe Sterr said. “Our residents are stretching their fledging wings so that they can soar into their new lives of recovery.”

Located in Joliet, the Connor Kelly Residence is the third residential facility Glasgow has established for Will County Problem Solving Court participants. The first two residences, the Miller Taylor House and Julie Ann House, provide temporary housing. The Connor Kelly residence provides longer-term transitional housing that offers increased independence while maintaining a support system.  

“These residences provide a much-needed support system for participants by offering safe housing, counseling, treatment, and on-site support services to assist these individuals on their journeys toward a better future,” Glasgow said. “By offering long-term transition housing, the Connor Kelly Residence maintains the supportive system these individuals continue to need as they increase their levels of independence.”

Participants are employed and allowed into the program after careful screening. They have faced drug addictions, previously committed non-violent offenses, and receive on-site supportive services. A recovery support specialist lives on site.

State’s Attorney Glasgow and Connor Kelly’s grandfather Ed Heil cut the ceremonial ribbon.

Eleven Participants Graduate Will County Adult Redeploy Illinois Program

May 29, 2019

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has announced that eleven defendants who committed non-violent crimes have graduated from Will County Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI), a program that seeks to keep non-violent offenders out of state prisons through counseling, substance abuse treatment, mental health therapy, and job location services.

Individuals from Joliet, Rockdale, Shorewood, and Lockport graduated from the program in a May 29 ceremony at the Will County Office Building. Each of these individuals had pled guilty up front to various nonviolent offenses, such as retail theft, to participate in the intensive 18-month program that helps them avoid a prison sentence. The event brings to 25 the number of individuals who have graduated from the Will County ARI Court. This was the third graduating class, and the largest to date.

“Through Will County ARI, defendants are empowered to change their behavior, seek gainful employment, and become productive citizens who contribute to our community,” Glasgow said. “This program not only saves taxpayer dollars by rehabilitating individuals who may otherwise have cycled in and out of the criminal justice system; it has turned the lives around for the participating individuals and given them another chance.”

Also participating in the ceremony were Judge Daniel Rippy, who presides over the ARI docket; Mary Ann Dyar, ARI Program Director for the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority; and Problem Solving Court Coordinator Julie McCabe Sterr of the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Glasgow spearheaded the creation of the Will County ARI Court in 2015. The Court was recognized at the national level by the National Association of Counties with the 2018 Achievement Award. Glasgow also was instrumental in establishing the Will County Drug Court, Veterans Court, and Mental Health Court. 

1. State’s Attorney James Glasgow speaks to participants and attendees at the Will County Adult Redeploy Illinois graduation.

2. State’s Attorney James Glasgow commends Problem Solving Court Coordinator Julie McCabe Sterr on her integral role in working with participants of the Will County Problem Solving Courts program.

State’s Attorney Glasgow Urges Parents to Communicate with Their Kids in Continuing Effort to Curb Opioid Addiction

April 12, 2019

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow spoke recently with parents attending a “Wake-Up Call” event at Joliet West High School.  The event featured a life-size exhibit of a teen’s bedroom containing more than 20 red flags that can signal drug or alcohol use. The exhibit identified spots where teens may hide drugs as well as household items that can be used to hid drugs and paraphernalia, and highlighted ways in which teens may attempt to try to cover up drug and alcohol use

Glasgow explained how items created for the purpose of hiding illicit drugs – such as a water bottle with a hollow center behind the label – are easily available for purchase on line. “When you walk in your child’s room, everything may look just fine to you — but what seem to be everyday items such as toiletries or room décor can in fact have hidden compartments to conceal illicit drugs and other paraphernalia,” Glasgow said. “Through the internet, you can buy a clone of virtually every household product with a hidden compartment.  As the owner of the household, you have a right to search your child’s room.  We need to do everything we can to prevent addiction to opioids and other drugs.

“Illicit drugs can be hidden in plain sight.  Too many precious lives are being lost every year to the opioid epidemic. That is why it is so important to stay alert and a step ahead in working to keep our kids safe.”

State’s Attorney Glasgow was a co-sponsor of the event, which was presented through the Will County Health Department’s “Youth Experiencing Success in Schools” (YESS) program. The YESS program provides mental health and other services to high school students. State’s Attorney Glasgow is one of the YESS program founders and has been involved in the program since the program’s inception. The State’s Attorney’s Office contributed $10,000 in emergency funding to the program in 2015 through the use of forfeiture funds, which is money seized from offenders who were using it to engage in criminal enterprises

Will County Children’s Advocacy Center Welcomes New Board Member, Receives $2,500 Donation from Frankfort Township

April 26, 2019

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has announced that Chris Brown, Government Affairs Manager for CITGO Petroleum, was appointed to the CAC’s Board of Directors. Brown was nominated by State’s Attorney Glasgow and approved by the Board at its April meeting.

“Our new board member brings with him, talent, dedication to service, and a commitment to helping the children served by the CAC,” Glasgow said. “I look forward to working with Chris as we continue to guide the Children’s Advocacy Center in its mission of providing hope, healing, and justice to children who have been abused and neglected.”

An active member of the community, Brown has served on the board of the United Way of Grundy County, volunteered with the Conservation Foundation, helped Morningstar mission, and assisted with the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebration in Chicago.

“It is important to give back to our community, and there is no better way than to help vulnerable children whose lives have been impacted by trauma,” Brown said. ”I look forward to working with this important organization that does so much to positively impact the lives of abused children.  By assisting these children not only through the court process, but also through the advocacy, counseling, and social services, the CAC brings healing into the lives of the children and family members it serves.”

Before the meeting, Frankfort Township Supervisor and County Board Member Jim Moustis presented a $2,500 check to the Children’s Advocacy Center on behalf of the Township.

“It is an honor for Frankfort Township to support this impactful organization that does so much every day to protect the children of Will County,” Moustis said. “When contributions are made to the CAC, we know that the money is spent wisely and goes to necessary services for those most in need.”

In accepting the contribution, Glasgow stated that since he founded the Center in 1995, nearly 9,000 children have received services.

“Since 2015, the number of children served has increased by 56 percent. In the last three years alone, the CAC has served approximately 1625 children,” Glasgow stated. “The services the CAC provides have continued to grow as we continually strive for innovative ways to enhance the prosecution of these cases and assist our victims and non-offending family members. Whether it is our Paws-4-Kids program that provides comfort dogs to the children, or trauma-focused individual therapy and therapeutic support groups, the CAC has continued to expand to meet the needs of the children and their non-offending family members.” Glasgow established the CAC as a not-for-profit agency to improve investigations into cases involving child sexual abuse. When a child makes an outcry of sexual abuse, the child is brought to the Center where trained and compassionate forensic interviewers obtain an accurate statement in a neutral, non-suggestive, and child-friendly environment. Forensic interviews recorded at the CAC have been used in the successful prosecution of hundreds of predators.

Six Participants Graduate Mental Health Court in Ceremony at County Building

JOLIET –Six participants graduated today from the Will County Mental Health Court in a public ceremony at the Will County Office Building. The individuals hail from the communities of Plainfield, Homer Glen, Romeoville, and Joliet. The program was established in 2010 by Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and former Chief Judge Gerald Kinney to provide judicial monitoring and treatment services to qualifying criminal defendants. Circuit Judge Fred Harvey and Problem Solving Court Coordinator Julie McCabe-Sterr of the State’s Attorney’s Office also participated in the ceremony. Today’s event marked the 21st ceremony for graduates of the Mental Health Court. Including today’s participants, 69 individuals have graduated from the program.

“Today marks a significant step in the lives of each of these individuals, who have worked extremely hard to complete this program,” Glasgow said. “Mental Health Court is a win-win program that protects the public and improves the quality of life for participants. We all benefit when these graduates go on to find employment and contribute in a positive manner to our communities.”

Each potential defendant is carefully screened before being admitted to the Mental Health Court. Anyone who has been convicted of or charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, a sex offense, armed robbery, arson, kidnapping, stalking or any offense involving the discharge of a firearm is barred from participation. Defendants charged with other crimes may not be allowed to participate depending upon the unique circumstances of their individual cases. To be eligible for Mental Health Court, candidates must be diagnosed as having a mental disorder or a co-occurring disorder, the latter of which is a mental illness combined with an addiction. In addition to the Mental Health Court, State’s Attorney Glasgow initiated the establishment of the County’s other three problem-solving courts: Adult Redeploy Illinois Court, Drug Court, and the Veterans & Service Members Court

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow Provides Drug Detection Canine to Park Forest Police Department

Tucker” is Sixth K-9 Purchased by Glasgow with Drug Forfeiture Money to Help Local Police Departments Remove Drugs from our Communities

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has purchased a drug-detection K-9 for the Park Forest Police Department to assist local law enforcement efforts in removing dangerous drugs from our communities. Glasgow paid for the purchase of “Tucker,” his training, and the transport equipment installed in the police vehicle with nearly $18,000 in drug asset money seized from criminals involved in selling illegal narcotics. A Dutch Shepherd, Tucker is the sixth drug detection K-9 Glasgow has donated to local police departments in Will County at no cost to taxpayers. Tucker is trained to track people as well as drugs.

Pictured (left to right) Officer Charles Karl, K-9 Tucker State’s Attorney James Glasgow, Park Forest Police Chief Christopher Mannino

“By using drug forfeiture money, we are taking money out of the hands of criminals and using those resources to remove deadly drugs from our communities,” said Glasgow. “The importance of these canines cannot be understated. Dogs trained to detect the presence of illegal narcotics play an important role in helping address the deadly opioid epidemic that is gripping our communities.”

Tucker joins the five other canines State’s Attorney Glasgow has provided to establish K- 9 units in various police departments throughout Will County: “Rookie” in Shorewood, “Sam” in Elwood, “Hutch” in Channahon, “Roxie” in Rockdale, and “Mao” in Wilmington. Glasgow also provided the training and K-9 transport equipment for each of these K-9s.

“The canines my office has provided to police departments throughout Will County have helped take drug dangerous dealers off our streets and helped save lives,” Glasgow said. “These dogs also help prevent the scourge of drug use by assisting our schools in monitoring for the presence of drugs and providing an opportunity for intervention and prevention.”

Glasgow spoke last evening at the Park Forest Village Board, where he was welcomed by Mayor John Ostenburg, Police Chief Mannino, and members of the Park Forest Police Department.

State’s Attorney Glasgow has an extensive history of addressing the opioid epidemic. He has pursued an aggressive agenda that includes targeting heroin dealers and prosecuting drug-induced homicides against heroin/fentanyl dealers who have sold this deadly poison to hold them accountable for these tragic homicides. Additionally, Glasgow obtained the federal grants to establish Will County’s drug court program to help offenders re-enter the community following an intensive and structured program. Glasgow also works with HERO (Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization) and HELPS (Heroin Education Leads to Preventative Solutions) to educate our communities about the dangers of opioids.

Charges Filed Against 50-Year-Old Manhattan Woman for Alleged Sexual Conduct Involving 14-Year-Old Male

January 4

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow today announced that a Manhattan woman has been charged with six counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, as well as one count of Indecent Solicitation of a Child and one count of Unlawful Grooming in connection with an alleged sexual relationship involving a 14-year-old male.

The woman, 50-year-old Dayna Chidester of the 25400 block of O’Connel Lane in Manhattan, was a high school teacher at Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood at the time the alleged conduct occurred. The victim is not a Reed-Custer student.

Chidester was taken into custody Thursday following an investigation by the Manhattan Police Department, with assistance from State’s Attorney Glasgow’s High Technology Crimes Unit and the Will County Sheriff’s Office. Forensic interviews, therapy, and counseling involving those affected occurred at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center.

If convicted, she faces up to 7 years for each count of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, up to 5 years for the count of Indecent Solicitation, and up to 3 years for the Unlawful Grooming count.

During the investigation, the victim stated that the relationship with Chidester included messages and photos sent electronically, as well as sexual physical contact on numerous occasions. The Defendant confirmed that text messages and photos were sent electronically and that sexual physical contact had occurred with the victim.

Bond was set at $1 million on Friday. The defendant must post 10 percent, or $100,000, to secure release while awaiting trial. Additionally, as a condition of Defendant’s bond, if she is able to post required amount, the Defendant must refrain from contact with any minors outside of immediate family members as well as from entering school grounds, is prohibited from using the internet or any device with internet capabilities, and must turn over her passport.

The Will County State’s Attorney reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.