Sharone Mitchell is the Chief Defender of Cook County. Mitchell is a passionate advocate for the rights of everyone represented by the Public Defender's office and for reform to increase justice in the legal system and to keep communities safe.
Mitchell began his legal career in the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, first working as a clerk in law school and later as an assistant public defender. In 2016, Mitchell joined the Illinois Justice Project (ILJP), a policy reform organization dedicated to supporting people, programs, and policies that can reduce inappropriate incarceration, improve community safety outcomes, reduce recidivism and increase justice in the legal system.
Mitchell became Director of ILJP in 2019 and solidified its reputation as one of the state's leading criminal justice reform non-profits. During his tenure as Director, ILJP helped lead the Coalition to End Money Bond's successful effort to outlaw wealth-based pretrial incarceration in Illinois. ILJP also worked with the Building a Safe Chicago Coalition and others to convince state leaders to direct 25 percent of cannabis tax revenues towards treating the root causes of harm in objectively identified areas of the state through the R3 (Restore, Renew and Reinvest) grant program. An advocate of alternative approaches to public safety and helping men and women re-enter their communities, Mitchell has fought against proposals to make the Illinois sentencing system more barbaric and ineffective.
The Chicago Transformation Collab brought Chicagoans together who are on the frontlines in the fight for justice.