Loyola University Chicago

School of Law



and Loyola’s Public Interest Law Reporter

Demystifying “Chiraq”: How to Effectively Build Safer Communities and Address Violence in Chicago

Friday, November 17, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Philip H. Corboy Law Center
Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom
25 E. Pearson Street, Chicago

Symposium Editors: Catharine Debelle and William Ryan
To register, email tgray7@luc.edu


8:30 – 9:00 a.m.  BREAKFAST & REGISTRATION

9:00 –9:15 a.m.  Welcome & Introduction
Henry Rose, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

9:30 –10 a.m.  Featured Speaker
Stephen Rushin, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

10 –11:10 a.m.  SESSION 1: Overview of the Problem
Ronald L. DeWald Jr. Assistant United States Attorney in the N.D. of Illinois
Eddie Bocanegra, Heartland Alliance
Dr. Don Stemen, Loyola University Chicago
Judge Preston Jones Jr, Circuit Court of Cook County

11:15 –12:20 p.m.  SESSION 2: Police Relations & Accountability
Ronald L. DeWald Jr., Assistant United States Attorney in the N.D. of Illinois
Stephen Rushin, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Dean C. Angelo Sr.,  Fraternal Order of Police
Michael Oppenheimer, Erickson & Oppenheimer, LTD

12:40–1:40 p.m.  SESSION 3: Juvenile Justice Panel
Shobha L. Mahadev, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Sara Dixon Spivy, Assistant Cook County Public Defender
Cathryn Crawford, Lawndale Christian Legal Center
Maurice Harris, Lawndale Christian Legal Center

1:45 –2:45 p.m.  SESSION 4: Community Advocacy & Engagement
Colleen Daley, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
Jay Readey, MetroAlliance and Ginsberg Jacobs LLC
Tamar Manasseh, Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killing



FEATURED SPEAKER: Professor Rushin specializes in criminal law, police accountability, and empirical legal studies. His research has appeared or is forthcoming in the Duke Law Journal, the California Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, the Georgia Law Review, and the Fordham Law Review. Numerous national media outlets have featured his research or expertise. Before joining Loyola, Professor Rushin taught at the University of Alabama School of Law and the University of Illinois College of Law. Professor Rushin received his PhD and JD from University of California, Berkeley.

Dean C. Angelo Sr. recently retired from the Chicago Police Department after serving 37 ½ years. Over the course of his career, he worked in the patrol division, in the Gang Crime Unit and as a detective in Bomb and Arson Section. Dr. Angelo was elected to the office of President of Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge 7, the largest subordinate FOP Lodge in the Nation; representing a membership of over 17,500 active and retirees. He continues to serve on the board as its Immediate Past President. Dr. Angelo received his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Lewis University, as well as his graduate degree in Criminal Social Justice and Human Behavior. He completed his doctoral studies here at Loyola University, Chicago.

Eddie Bocanegra joined Heartland Alliance in June 2017 as senior director of READI Chicago. In this role, he oversees the management and implementation of the evidence-based and trauma-informed program to reduce gun violence and promote safety and opportunity. Prior to this position Mr. Bocanegra served as executive director for the YMCA of Chicago, Community Renewal Society, and as a violence interrupter for Chicago’s Ceasefire and was featured in the award-winning documentary The Interrupters. Mr. Bocanegra holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago and Northeastern University, respectively. He has served on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Commission for a Safer Chicago, is a committee member of the Juvenile Justice Leadership Council, and a board member of the Community Renewal Society, and of the Juvenile Justice Initiative.

Cathryn Crawford is the litigation director of the Lawndale Christian Legal Center (LCLC), a non-profit organization providing holistic defense services to individuals from the Lawndale community facing charges in juvenile or adult criminal court. Before this position, Ms. Crawford represented clients on Texas’ death row.  She also served on the faculty of the Northwestern University School of Law for eleven years, where she represented youth charged with serious offenses in juvenile and criminal courts. In 2007, Ms. Crawford took leave to serve as the inaugural director of Juvenile Regional Services, a public defender organization representing indigent youth charged in Orleans Parish Juvenile Delinquency Court. The following year, she took another leave to join the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, where she oversaw Models for Change, a multi-state juvenile justice reform initiative. Ms. Crawford received her BA, cum laude, from the University of Texas at Dallas and her JD, cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law.

Colleen Daley is the executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV). Having lost a childhood friend in a senseless shooting in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood where she grew up, Colleen has a deep sense of purpose in her position with ICHV. Since joining ICHV in April of 2011 she has grown the statewide outreach campaign, successfully passed common sense gun control legislation, and continues to advance ICHV’s Student Voices Program. Prior to coming to ICHV, Colleen served as the director of legislative affairs to former State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, as the campaign director of Illinois for Health Care, the strategic sourcing manager for the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services, and the chief of staff to former State Representative John Fritchey. Colleen is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep and Indiana University.

Ronald L. DeWald Jr. is a federal prosecutor in Chicago, Illinois. He joined the United States Attorney in the N.D. of Illinois in 2004. Mr. DeWald is currently the Chief of the Violent Crimes Section and leads a team of Assistant United States Attorneys who work with federal law enforcement agents to investigate and prosecute gang, gun, and violent crime. He also serves as the Office’s Anti-Violence Program Coordinator and is responsible for overseeing Project Safe Neighborhoods and other federal, state, and local collaborative initiatives involving law enforcement, offender intervention, and crime prevention strategies. Prior to his federal service, Mr. DeWald served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Mr. DeWald received a degree in Economics from Lehigh University, before receiving his JD and MBA from DePaul University in Chicago.

Maurice Harris joined LCLC in January 2013 working in the Detention Reduction Program. For the last four years, Mr. Harris has worked as the program director, and in August 2017, he was promoted to the role of Violence Prevention Director. In this new role, Mr. Harris will lead LCLC’s street outreach and violence prevention work to decrease the number of shootings and homicides in our community. Mr. Harris has earned credits at Taylor Business Institute and Chicago State University. A resident of North Lawndale, Mr. Harris can relate to many of the experiences of LCLC youth and is skilled at developing rapport and building relationships with them.

Judge Preston Jones Jr. was recently judicially appointed to the Circuit Court of Cook County by the Illinois Supreme Court. Prior to his appointment, Judge Jones served as a Cook County Public Defender for 23 years. In his time with the Public Defender's office, Judge Jones worked in the Juvenile Justice/Child Protection Division and Felony Trial Division before joining the Homicide Task Force in 2004. In his role with the Homicide Task Force, Judge Jones litigated jury and bench trials for individuals accused of murder or manslaughter and advocated for the individuals from arraignment through sentencing. Judge Jones earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and his juris doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law. Judge Jones will be up for re-election in the Democratic primary on March 20, 2018, county wide.

Shobha L. Mahadev is a clinical assistant professor of Law at the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where she represents children and adults who have been charged with or are convicted for offenses that occurred when they were under the age of 18, in trial, on appeal, and in post-conviction proceedings.  Professor Mahadev also serves as the project director for the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children, overseeing policy and litigation strategy with respect to advocating for fair sentencing laws for children convicted of serious crimes.  Prior to joining the CFJC, Professor Mahadev was a litigation associate at a Chicago-based law firm and an assistant defender with the Office of the State Appellate Defender, First Judicial District, where she represented indigent clients convicted of criminal offenses on appeal, and argued before the Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court.

Tamar Manasseh is the founder and president of Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killing (MASK). Following the shooting death of Lucille Barnes in 2015, Tamar Manasseh, a mother of 2 who grew up in Englewood and now lives in Bronzeville, rallied several other mothers and established MASK. MASK's purpose is to put eyes on the streets, interrupt violence and crime, and teach children to grow up as friends rather than enemies. MASK's primary mission is to build stronger communities through a focus on violence prevention, food insecurity, and housing. Additionally, MASK partners to ensure that community members have access to necessary city services, opportunities for education & professional skills growth, and economic development. Manasseh has also helped launch MASK initiatives in other Chicago neighborhoods, as well as cities throughout the nation.

Michael Oppenheimer is a founding partner at Erickson & Oppenheimer, LTD. Prior to establishing his own firm, Mr. Oppenheimer was an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County. He practices in the areas of civil rights law and criminal defense. Mr. Oppenheimer has secured several not guilty verdicts in many high-profile criminal cases and has helped his civil rights clients to win millions. Mr. Oppenheimer earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and attended law school at the University of Cincinnati.

Sara Dixon Spivy has been an Assistant Cook County Public Defender since 2004. She began as a staff attorney and has represented clients in child protection proceedings, misdemeanors, felonies, and murders. In 2015, Ms. Spivy was promoted to attorney supervisor and is currently assigned to the Civil Division which has 32 attorneys representing clients in Child Protection Court and Mental Health Court. In 2015, Ms. Spivy was elected to a four-year term on the District 200 Oak Park and River Forest High School Board of Education. Ms. Spivy serves as board secretary and chairs both the Policy Committee and the Culture, Climate, and Behavior Committee. During her campaign, she ran on a platform advocating the adoption of a restorative justice philosophy at the high school. She received her BA from the University of Chicago, and her JD from Duke University School of Law.

Dr. Don Stemen is an associate professor and chairperson of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology and a member of the graduate faculty at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Stemen's research focuses on sentencing and corrections issues, examining the innovation and diffusion of sentencing and corrections policies across the United States and the impact of those policies on criminal justice agencies, prosecutorial decision making, and factors affecting prosecutorial outcomes. Dr. Stemen received his PhD in Law and Society from the Institute for Law and Society at New York University. Before coming to Loyola, he was the director of research on sentencing and corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice, where he worked with state and county governments to reform criminal justice policies.

Jay Readey is a lawyer and social entrepreneur who has worked for many years on issues of racial and socioeconomic equity. Mr. Readey founded and serves as president and CEO of The MetroAlliance, a social venture focused on neighborhood transformation. Through a mix of for-profit strategies and nonprofit initiatives, the MetroAlliance focuses on strengthening dynamic metropolitan communities. Through his work with The MetroAlliance, Mr. Readey supports the creation and growth of numerous small businesses and nonprofit organizations, including NeighborScapes NFP, which focuses on the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Mr. Readey practices law with Ginsberg Jacobs LLC, focused on complex community development finance, and teaches as an adjunct professor of housing and community development law at DePaul University School of Law.  He graduated from Yale College and received a JD from Yale Law School, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

This year's symposium will address the headlines that plague Chicago's reputation. The city experienced more killings in 2016 than any year in the past two decades. Chicago has been unfortunately termed the "Murder Capital of U.S." or referred to as "Chiraq" because of the unprecedented levels of violent crime. There is a complex mix of factors that drive the violence in Chicago including deep historical and societal issues. The symposium will begin with a review of violent crime in Chicago.  Speakers will address potential solutions including police relations & accountability, juvenile justice, and community advocacy and engagement.


The symposium will be held in the Philip H. Corboy Law Center, Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, on the 10th floor of 25 E. Pearson St. and Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus.


This program has been approved for 4.5 hours of General MCLE credit; including 4.5 hours of professionalism professional responsibility credit. Loyola University Chicago School of Law is pleased to present this conference at no charge for Loyola students, faculty, and individuals not seeking MCLE credit. For those who wish to obtain MCLE credit, registration fees will apply:

  • $50 for attendees seeking MCLE credit
  • $40 for Loyola alumni seeking MCLE credit
  • As part of our wider financial hardship consideration, there is an immediate discount of 50% for attorneys working in the areas of government or public interest.

Fees are payable at the door by check made payable to Loyola University Chicago.


Loyola’s Public Interest Law Reporter (PILR) is an innovative legal publication that focuses on reporting the most current legal topics in a news format directed to students, educators, and practitioners. PILR is edited and produced by Loyola students and is housed within the Center for Public Service Law. Founded in 1995, PILR offers feature articles and news of legal developments in the areas of human rights, economic justice, criminal justice, the environment, and governance. In addition to an editorial staff selected through a write-on process, Loyola law students direct all aspects of PILR's research, writing, graphics, production, and business management.