My first Monday Must-Read of 2015 is a non-fiction work that really fascinated me.
Courtroom 302 by Steve Bogira is a look at the work being done in the Cook County Criminal Courthouse. The courthouse that serves most of Chicago.
It’s one of the busiest courtrooms in the country, which isn’t much of a shock. What is a little bit shocking is the vast spectrum of cases and people who circulate in and out of the courtroom over the course of a year.
Bogira interlaces the tales of the courtroom with information about the criminal system in Cook County in general. He talks with people who have been through the system and how it has changed their lives.
As someone who is fascinated by the court system, I was absolutely taken with this work. It’s an interesting read. While it is focused on Illinois, many of the situations could be transplanted into large metropolises around the country and ring true. (Maybe even in not so large metropolises.)
If you’re interested in a real-world look at how the court system works, pick up Bogira’s work.