FY 2015




On finding your calling

Antonio Benecchi

Civic Consulting Alliance



Civic Consulting Alliance and I are old friends. Ever since I was introduced to the organization as a pro-bono partner, I have been consistently impressed. My first project involved developing a roadmap to facilitate the introduction of electric vehicles in Chicago. From day one, the energy, confidence, and professionalism that Civic Consulting Alliance brought to the project were extraordinary.

Perhaps it's easy to see why everyone is so excited: this organization is unique. Nobody else does what Civic Consulting Alliance does - tapping the best professional talent available and directing their energies to the benefit of our region and state. There's simply nothing else like it. On each of the projects I was involved in while at
Roland Berger, I grew more enthralled with the work, the people, and the chance to make a real impact on the public sector.



I am thrilled to have joined Civic Consulting Alliance as a principal this past April. I'll continue my work on economic growth strategy on behalf of the Chicago region. Most importantly, I'll be contributing to a team that works hard, with passion and dignity, to directly serve the needs of Illinois residents and their government. It's more than a job. It's a passion.


Cook County Jail launches new risk assessment tool

Pro bono partners:


A.T. Kearney


Mayer Brown LLP

Nearly three-fourths of the men and women in Cook County Jail are behind bars for nonviolent crimes. Many could be safely released, but they remain in detention because they can't afford to post bond. The human cost of this overreliance on jail to hold people who have not been convicted is high: while detainees wait for trial, they may lose their housing, jobs, or school enrollment. The cost to taxpayers is also high: at $143 per inmate per day, Cook County Jail--the nation's second-largest single-site jail--costs Illinoisans more than $300 million annually.

Building off pro-bono support from A.T. Kearney and Mayer Brown, Civic Consulting Alliance is working with the Illinois Supreme Court, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, and Cook County criminal justice stakeholders to increase the release of low-risk detainees while improving community safety. The effort helped to achieve a milestone this past spring, when the general population of Cook County Jail fell below 8,000 for the first time since 1991.

On July 1, Civic Consulting Alliance helped Cook County Jail reach another important milestone with the implementation of a new Public Safety Assessment-Court (PSA-Court) tool. This tool provides pretrial service officers and judges an evidence-based assessment to predict the risk of a detainee committing another crime or failing to appear for his or her court date.  PSA-Court, based on each individual's criminal history, is a critical component of a model bond court in Cook County.

For more information, please contact Asheley Van Ness. 


In other news...

  • This summer, the first cohort of students enrolled at Chicago's Early College STEM Schools will join the 2,000 dual credit/dual enrollment interns throughout Chicago Public Schools receiving workplace learning experiences with local companies. Chicago Public Schools' Early College STEM Schools were launched last year with support from Civic Consulting Alliance, McKinsey & Company and CompTIA, with corporate partners such as Microsoft, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Verizon, Cisco, and IBM assigned to each school.

  • Over the past 40 years, crime in Illinois has declined 20 percent - but the prison population has ballooned 700 percent. In February, Governor Rauner created the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice to study the criminal justice system and suggest laws, policies, and procedures to safely reduce the prison population by 25 percent by 2025. On July 1, the commission released its initial report. The Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council (SPAC) and Civic Consulting Alliance are working with the budget and capacity subcommittee to understand the financial impact of the commission's proposed changes and identify ways to use taxpayer dollars most effectively.

  • Since 2010, four out of five new jobs created in Chicago have been low wage, meaning they pay less than $30,000 per year. Many of these jobs lack benefits or offer unpredictable scheduling, which places significant stress on working families. On June 20, with support from Civic Consulting Alliance, the Mayor's Office kicked off the Working Families Task Force to explore opportunities for improving the lives of working families. The Task Force includes employers, state legislators, members of the City Council, and nonprofit and business leaders.

  • On June 17, Chicago's City Council adopted a resolution of appreciation, thanking Civic Consulting Alliance and our partners for 30 years of working together on improving the things that matter most in Chicago. Congratulations to all of our partners, and thank you for your continued support!

Questions? Comments? Interested in writing a guest article? Please email Stuart Henige with any newsletter feedback.