Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Daryl Jones: In his own words

Daryl Jones is a candidate for the Williams vacancy in the 5th Judicial Subcircuit.

My life changed when I became an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. I always knew I was interested in criminal law, which was why, at the time, that Office was the only place I wanted to work and the only place I applied. However, I didn’t know that I would develop a passion for shaping the lives of our youth until I was assigned to the Juvenile Justice Division. From that point forward, I knew my highest calling would be to serve as a Juvenile Court Judge.

Since I was a teenager, I have witnessed large numbers of young people enter the criminal justice system. I witnessed myself, how many of my friends and family members were incarcerated as teens and how entering the system impacted the rest of their lives and those of their families. I believe as Judge, I could do more than just be fair and impartial during the trial process, but I could serve as a source of inspiration and guidance and try my best to shape our youth and point them in the right direction.

I have had some of the same experiences as many of our youth that are in the system. Like so many of them, I grew up in a single parent home, I attended Chicago Public Schools, and I was surrounded with gangs and other negative factors in my environment. However, despite all of those factors, I went on to graduate from high school, join the U.S. Marines, and attended college and law school. I was able to overcome my environment because I made the decision to be a leader instead of a follower, I set goals for myself, and I worked hard to pursue those goals. I understand many of our juveniles’ experiences, what leads to the crime and violence in our communities, and I know my life lessons will allow me to relate to their situations.

Our youth can grow to be more than what is in their environment. However, we have to provide supports for them to grow and their court cases have to be handled appropriately, particularly sentencing. The ramifications of judges’ decision on juvenile cases could cause more harm than good, if judges are not particularly knowledgeable and able to relate to juveniles. I have that knowledge and ability.

I understand that there is no guarantee that I will be assigned to the Juvenile Court and I need to be knowledgeable in other areas of the law to serve as a judge. As such, I will be honored to serve in whatever capacity I am needed. Although my passion and ultimate goal is to serve in the Juvenile Court, I am knowledgeable about other areas of law, including adult criminal cases.

Additionally, I have a lot to offer the judiciary. I have experiences that few, if any, sitting judges have. I have served as an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, I have been Senior Legal Advisor and Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Illinois Department of Corrections, where I handled a wide array of legal issues for our state prison system, and I currently serve as a member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, where I have made decisions regarding some the state’s most serious cases and offenders.

I would like to thank Jack Leyhane for providing this forum, and I would be honored to serve our county as Judge.

Daryl Jones
Candidate for Judge
5th Judicial Subcircuit (Williams vacancy), Cook County

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