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The mission of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court is to serve the public
by providing access to a fair and efficient system of justice in accordance with the law that fosters public trust and confidence.
Winnebago County Courthouse
400 W. State Street
Rockford, IL 61101
Winnebago County Criminal Justice Center
650 W. State Street
Rockford, IL 61102
 Winnebago County Juvenile Justice Center
211 S. Court Street
Rockford, IL 61101
Boone County Courthouse
601 N. Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

The Statement of Professional Aspirations for the Legal Profession in the 17th Judicial Circuit

  Information Guide: 

 When and where is my next court date?  Are court forms available online?  Is child care available at the courthouse?
 Where can I find help for a legal problem?  What are my duties as a  juror?  How are marriage and civil union ceremonies performed?
Joint Press Release from Chief Judge McGraw and Rockford Police Chief O'Shea Print E-mail


Chief Judge Joseph G. McGraw and Rockford Police Chief Daniel O’Shea met on March 10, 2017, to discuss the process for setting bail for those accused of criminal offenses.  Both men agreed that the meeting was insightful and productive. 

“I believe that the 17th Circuit has a robust and well-developed pretrial services program.  We are a leader in the State of Illinois in the utilization of evidence-based pretrial assessment practices,” McGraw said. 

McGraw noted that any discussion of the process for setting bail must start with recognition that individuals arrested and charged with a crime have not yet been convicted of that crime.  While State law encourages the use of non-cash bonds, the Court may set bail as a condition of release based primarily on two factors:  (1) the likelihood of the accused re-offending; and (2) the likelihood of the accused appearing in court as directed if released on bond.   

With the input of professionals in the Court’s Pretrial Services Department, the Court has been extremely successful in identifying those cases suitable for pretrial release.  Over 3,300 felony arrests were made in Winnebago County in 2016; of those arrestees released on bond, more than 92% did so without being re-arrested for a new local felony charge. 

“I very much appreciated the opportunity to meet with Judge McGraw on these issues,” O’Shea said.  “I definitely have a better understanding of the process by which bail amounts are set, and how law enforcement might have more effective input, by way of the State’s Attorney, in those cases which we view as having higher risk.”   

The Court’s Pretrial Services Department utilizes an actuarially verified risk assessment tool to present bond recommendations for each detainee to the judge, who also hears from the State’s Attorney.  The judge may impose various conditions of bond tailored to each individual defendant’s case to ensure compliance and subsequent court appearances.  Judge McGraw noted that the Pretrial Services Department has been extremely successful in its efforts despite significant cuts to its funding by the Winnebago County Board; there are now 19 fewer officers than in 2008.  “We hope that we will not see that department’s critical function jeopardized by a continuing lack of financial support from the County,” McGraw said. 

Judge McGraw and Chief O’Shea emphasized that they have had a continuing dialogue about issues of mutual concern in the criminal justice system and that their discussions will continue.

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Frontpage Directory

Winnebago County
  • Circuit Clerk                (815) 319-4500
  • Sheriff's Department (815) 319-6000
  • State's Attorney           (815) 319-4700
  • Public Defender           (815) 319-4900
  • Adult Probation           (815) 319-6250
  • Juvenile Probation      (815) 516-2700
  • Arbitration Center        (815) 987-7739
  • Jury Commission       (815) 319-4880
Boone County
  • Circuit Clerk                   (815) 544-0371
  • Sheriff's Department   (815) 544-9322
  • State's Attorney             (815) 544-0868
  • Public Defender            (815) 547-5400
  • Probation Department (815) 544-9806
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