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The [Thursday] Papers

"For the second time this school year, a family has complained that the University of Notre Dame failed to swiftly and thoroughly investigate their daughter's report of being sexually attacked in a residence hall," the Tribune reports.

The paper has previously reported extensively on another case at the college - that of Northbrook's Elizabeth Seeberg, who killed herself nine days after making her own complaint to officials.

And there is an additional news peg, as noted by the Trib:

"Both cases are being reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education, which has launched an inquiry into how the nation's preeminent Catholic university responds to sexual misconduct complaints. Together, the incidents paint a picture of a campus police department that so frustrated both women's parents, they implored detectives to obtain evidence, question witnesses and treat their daughters' accusations with urgency."

But I wonder why the Trib - and other local media outside of this report by Fox Chicago News - is ignoring a report released this week by the Chicago Justice Project showing that one in six complaints of felony sex crimes are determined to be "unfounded" by Chicago police, a rate that is three times the national average.

"An unfounded complaint as defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program is defined as a complaint that upon investigation is found to be untrue and baseless," CJP's report says.

Chicago police, however, would not provide CJP with the criteria it uses to decide a complaint is unfounded.

Perhaps even more astonishing is that Chicago police have categorized 50 percent of felony sexual crimes investigations over the last 10 years as "suspended," though the department refuses to explain just what that means.

"The practice by CPD detectives of suspending investigations was repeatedly criticized in our conversations with advocates," the Justice Project says. "Victim advocates argue that detectives use this bureaucratic process as a way of halting their investigation into a complaint while never having to admit it to survivors . . .

"We attempted to confirm the CPD's definition of suspended as well as if the detectives' categorization of these cases is ever reviewed but the CPD failed to respond to questions provided by CJP."

By all means, Tribune, go after Notre Dame. I'm not questioning the effort or the newsworthiness.

But what about the CPD?

*

DISCLAIMER: Tracy Siska, who founded and runs the Chicago Justice Project, is a friend. Nonetheless, his work stands on the merits and so does my argument.

*

Also from CJP's report:

"April 16th will be the 25th anniversary of a letter to the editor published in the Chicago Tribune from Laura Kaufman, then the program coordinator for the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women, in which Ms. Kaufman chastises then-Cook County State's Attorney Richard M. Daley for failing to make data available to victims regarding their prosecution of rape cases.

Cook County State's Atty. Richard M. Daley doesn't seem to think that women have the right to know whether his office is doing a good job of prosecuting sexual assault cases under Illinois' new rape reform law. Chicago NOW and other women's groups have been asking Daley for months for statistics about what happens to sex crimes cases after they have been turned over to him by the police department. After a lot of stalling, however, Daley's staff now claims that his office doesn't keep organized records of decision made by its felony review unit, and that the numbers just aren't available.

Daley's lack of cooperation makes us twice as curious about those numbers. Could it be, for example, that the state's attorney doesn't accept very many felony sex crimes cases for prosecution - that too few rape victims get their day in court because their version of an attack isn't believed?

Again, that letter was published in 1986.

*

Lesson for the current mayoral campaign: Look at what the candidates have done, not what they say they'll do.

This Is Not Satire
"Quinn said Illinois must achieve 'financial stability' and proposed cutting aid to poor seniors, eliminating a prescription drug discount program and reducing spending on social services like alcohol and substance abuse treatment. He also called for reining in costs of Medicaid programs that cover health care for the poor."

By God, we're gonna balance this budget on the backs of the needy if it takes every ounce of political courage in my body!

*

Quinn expressed no regrets over charging taxpayers for Groupon's Tibet commercial.

*

In fact, Quinn liked the commercial so much he wants Groupon to make one for Illinois.

*

From Tim Willette:

"We'll have to make some painful choices. Our water will be less safe to drink. Fewer of our kids will be able to attend college. It'll be more dangerous to walk our streets. But we have no choice."

- Imaginary politician

I wish pols would just shut up about making "painful" decisions. Instead, the usual presentation: 1) the ballooning deficit requires us to make tough choices, and so 2) we need to cut a bunch of wasteful spending. But since when is cutting wasteful spending difficult? It ought to be easy! The only "painful" cuts are those that we never would make were we not so desperate, right?

Not exaggerating - they're literally this stuff:

"These cuts go far and wide, and will affect every community in the nation. These were hard decisions, and I know many people will not be happy with everything we've proposed in this package. That's understandable and not unexpected, but I believe these reductions are necessary to show that we are serious about returning our nation to a sustainable financial path. The cuts in this CR are the result of difficult work by our subcommittees who have weeded out excessive, unnecessary, and wasteful spending, making tough choices to prioritize programs based on their effectiveness and benefit to the American people."

Oh for a reporter to ask these guys to provide examples of cuts they expect will cause a majority of their constituents real pain, i.e., will negatively affect their quality of life. In truth, many such cuts have been proposed - dramatically slashing the USDA budget all but guarantees big layoffs of USDA inspectors, which will expose all of us to increased risk of sickness and death from eating shitty food. So just say so! Fuckers all.

Jennifer Beals . . .
. . . still friends with her Chicago high school pals but she's ditched the hometown accent.

Indonesia vs. Stroger Hospital
At least in one of those places the doctors are real.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Hard truths, painful choices.



Permalink

Posted on February 17, 2011


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Trump's Disastrous FCC Chair.
POLITICS - Filing: Walmart CEO Made $22.4 Million Last Year.
SPORTS - Teens Still Underreporting Concussions.

BOOKS - America, We Need To Talk.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.


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