Candidate Full Name: Karin M. Herwick
Office: Kane County Circuit Clerk of Court
Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)
1. Since many people dislike jury duty and try to avoid it, should such duty be optional?
While I understand people's dislike to participating in jury duty and the inconvenience that it can be to have to report and then sit and wait to see if one will be chosen I do not think that it should be optional. I believe that there have been allowances built in to deal with certain situations where it is appropriate to not have an individual serve. As American's we all want a right to a fair jury trial by our peers when there can be serious consequences to ones future livelihood. I believe that it is our civic duty to serve when called upon.
2. Should your office be elective or appointive?
The Circuit Clerk is a neutral party in the court system and should not be appointed by Judge's to keep that neutrality and preserve the integrity and security of the public record kept by the Clerk for the Court. I believe that citizens should elect the Circuit Clerk.
3. What can the clerk do to make the justice system function more efficiently?
Utilize technology to its fullest to efficiently keep the proceedings of the court record. Use of electronics also allows the court to draft orders quicker and when done electronically access to the record is instantaneous. More automation results in better quality and the ability to share data across the system with all judicial partners as well as other agencies who require the information. It reduces duplication of data entry and errors that may result.
4. What have you done - or would do - to stream operations and save taxpayer money?
I use restructure processes within the operations of the Circuit Clerk's Office to utilize resources to the fullest while working within the allotted budget. This has been shown when the Judiciary added two (2) new court rooms this past December and deputy clerks were needed to support this change. Processes within the office were analyzed for ways to improve and gain flexibility of resources. I have also restructured full teams where I have merged employees into other teams and have cross trained them to do both office and court work. This brings more flexibility and use of resources and because employees have a well rounded understanding of the case types that they support and provide better overall customer service to customers that are served. I will continue to combine these types of tools with technology as it all helps control the bottom line, helps manage large work loads and high service demands.
5. What type of probation reforms would you implement?
Probation reform is not something that is handled by the Circuit Clerk. The Circuit Clerk can assist with probation reform within the Court system by collecting the data that is required for evidence based sentencing. Probation reform could also take place by having low risk clients not have to check in with a Probation Officer or the Court but use other technologies where the probationer can report not burdening probation workers and allowing them to focus on clients that require more intense services.