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Three from the Second Judicial Circuit Selected to Serve on State Judicial Task Force

Pictured L-R: Attorney Justin Hood, Attorney Nathan Rowland, and Chief Judge Melissa Morgan (Photo submitted.)

MT. VERNON – The Second Judicial Circuit is proud to recognize the appointment of Hamilton County State’s Attorney Justin Hood, Public Defender for Hamilton and Gallatin counties Nathan Rowland and Second Circuit Chief Judge Melissa Morgan to a newly created 2023 Illinois Judicial Conference Task Force.

In October of 2022, the Illinois Judicial Conference developed a second strategic plan for the Illinois Judicial Branch and an Agenda titled, “Illinois Judicial Branch Strategic Agenda 2022-2025, Charting the Course: Innovations and Transformations within the Illinois Judicial Branch.” This Agenda was adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court and will provide a blueprint for the future of the Illinois Judicial Branch over the next three years. To implement the Agenda, the Illinois Judicial Conference adopted a one-year Operational Plan that sets forth 11 initiatives to achieve during 2023 and Task Forces were created and assigned those specific strategic initiatives.

Chief Judge Morgan and Attorneys Hood and Rowland were recently selected to serve as members on the multi-disciplinary Criminal Indigent Defense Task Force by the Illinois Judicial Conference and senior staff at the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. Their appointments were then approved by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Chief Judge Morgan expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to work with the Illinois Judicial Conference’s Task Force stating, “I am honored to have been selected to serve on this Task Force. The Judicial Branch is committed to providing accessible justice and equal protection under the law. These Task Forces allow our justice system partners to come together and collaborate, and this specific Task Force will seek to address criminal indigent defense issues currently facing our court system.”

Attorney Rowland shared a similar sentiment stating, “I appreciate the Supreme Court reaching out to local participants in the indigent defense system to learn our practical needs, as it looks to study and reform that system.”

State’s Attorney Hood also added, “I’m looking forward to working with others from the 2nd circuit and other stakeholders throughout Illinois to ensure that our judicial system treats individuals fairly and they are represented by counsel from the beginning of the case to the conclusion of their case.”