Cameras in the court are coming to Madison County, Illinois criminal courts. Under a pilot program approved by the Illinois Supreme Court, Madison County will become the third circuit in Illinois to allow cameras in the court, following the 14th Circuit in the Quad Cities and the 21st Circuit in Kankakee County.
Chief Judge Ann Callis, the presiding judge in Madison County will oversee the pilot program allowing news cameras at criminal trials. Callis had this to say about cameras in the court, “Our Criminal Justice Center is a modern, electronically equipped building providing wireless access that will facilitate accessibility by the media,” said Chief Judge Callis. “It has sufficient security safeguards to ensure this project can be managed efficiently, while serving the public effectively.”
As the pilot project unfolds in criminal courtrooms in Madison County, Chief Judge Callis she also would explore the feasibility of requesting permission to expand the program to other courthouses in the circuit.
The Order approving Madison County criminal courts for the pilot project requires that a judge presiding over a proceeding in which cameras were allowed file a report with the chief judge of the circuit, the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and Justice Karmeier, of the Supreme Court.