American Civil Liberties Union

Mikaela Lefrak - WAMU

With more student protests expected after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, the ACLU of Illinois is encouraging schools to respect free speech rights.

flickr/picturesofmoney

Civil asset forfeiture — when the government can take property even without charging someone with a crime — has been the target of attacks by civil libertarians. Law enforcement, on the other hand, has defended the practice.

Brian Mackey brings us this look at how the debate is playing out in Illinois.

A version of this story was broadcast June 7, 2016 on Illinois Edition.

Car mounted license plate reader
Garrett Brnger / WUIS / Illinois Issues

It doesn’t take much time at all, fractions of a second, to be marked and mapped, recorded and reported.

The automatic license plate reader cameras don’t look like much — just a pair of strobe lights on the back of a squad car, or maybe a cartoon character, depending on whom you ask.

flickr/JasonRojas

A new report finds signs of racial bias in data collected about police searches during traffic stops in Illinois.  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois released the report Wednesday.   It suggests police are nearly twice as likely to ask blacks and Latino drivers to consent to vehicle searches during traffic stops than they are to ask whites. But white drivers are about 50 percent more likely to have contraband found during such a search. 

Springfield numbers are similar to the statewide findings. 

Meeting
Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice

Special monitoring visits to the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice recently found youth detainees mowing lawns and building shelves rather than attending educational courses. Monitors discovered youth being given medication with inadequate consent and living in rooms that were improperly maintained. Facilities were found to lack the proper staff to treat juvenile offenders with mental illnesses.