Join us on Thurs., Feb. 9 as Sheriff Tom Dart speaks at Saint Xavier University (SXU) about “Justice: Through the Eyes of the Sheriff.” The talk will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Butler Reception Room, located in the Warde Academic Center at SXU’s Chicago campus, 3700 W. 103rd St. Dart will also meet with SXU students for a discussion as well as question and answer session prior to the lecture.
Through his innovative approach to law enforcement, Dart continues to fight for the rights of others and works to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. He oversees the second largest single-site jail in the country and monitors the operations of both the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department and the Court Services Department.
As a former prosecutor and state legislator, he helped initiate a massive public corruption investigation in the poverty-stricken village of Ford Heights, which led to the indictments of multiple police officers. As a state legislator, Dart sponsored hundreds of bills that demanded accountability from state officials.
He also re-wrote child welfare bills as well as wrote the state’s Sexually Violent Predators Commitment Act, which led to the state’s first-ever study connecting homelessness and prostitution. His work dramatically changed the way sheriff’s police handle arrests in prostitution cases because prostitutes are now steered toward rehabilitative services instead of jail. Additionally, they are doing more to go after the men who pimp these women and buy their services. The Internet sex crimes unit was also founded under Dart and pursues child pornography and human trafficking cases, providing the foundation for his federal lawsuit against the website Craigslist, which ultimately led to the removal of the Adult Services section from the website. He oversaw the investigation of Burr Oak Cemetery, in which workers allegedly dug up more than 200 graves, dumped the bodies into unmarked mass graves, and resold the burial plots. Lastly, Dart created the county’s first animal crimes unit that works diligently to stop the spread of dogfighting and animal cruelty.
In 2009, Time magazine named Sheriff Dart one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world thanks to his groundbreaking efforts.
This lecture is part of the annual Squeaky Weal Lecture Series, which aims to provide thoughtful discussions of public issues with a focus on their ethical dimensions and their impact on the common good. It is sponsored by SXU’s Center for Religion and Public Discourse. For more information, contact Kathy Mareska at firstname.lastname@example.org.