In Chicago, thousands of drug possession arrests are tossed out every year because of an unwritten rule in the courts, a Better Government Association/Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found. The cost to taxpayers? Millions. To those arrested? Jobs, housing, freedom.


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Unwritten Rules presented by Chicago Sun-Times and BGA

In Cook County, thousands of people are arrested every year for possessing small amounts of drugs only to have their cases thrown out just days later. It’s due to an unwritten rule in the courts that costs millions of dollars in taxes and costs those getting arrested their jobs, their homes and their freedom.

A new investigation, “Dead-End Drug Arrests,” examines this pattern in Cook County. The Better Government Association and the Chicago Sun-Times found those charged with carrying less than one gram of drugs are still routinely arrested although their charges are overwhelmingly dismissed in the earliest stages of their court cases.

Join us online on Wednesday, December 8 at 6:30 p.m. for our discussion. Register here.

Better Government Association and McCormick Foundation Form the Illinois Solutions Partnership

The Madigan Rule

“The Madigan Rule” is a BGA podcast that takes listeners inside the story of how Speaker Mike Madigan ran Illinois--for good and for ill.

Hosted by Justin Kaufmann, a veteran radio host deeply steeped in state government, Kaufmann talks with people who witnessed Madigan’s exercise of power: governors, lawmakers, journalists and politicos. They feared him and revered him and had no choice but to reckon with his rules.

It’s the Madigan Rule: a podcast about Illinois’ most powerful politician, featuring those who knew him well.

Episode 5 available now.

All episodes streaming now.

Watch the trailer here.