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major Accomplishments

Expungement and Record Sealing Summit

In 2016, Blakeman instituted Champaign County’s first Expungement and Record Sealing Summit, which provides free legal assistance to qualifying residents who are seeking to clear their criminal records. The program is now in its third year and has resulted in more than 1,400 petitions being filed. This program is designed to increase employment and educational opportunities for qualifying applicants.  2017 marked a new addition to the Summit, with an Amnesty Week scheduled a few weeks prior. The Amnesty Week allowed participants who could pay off an entire case obligation on a criminal or traffic matter the ability to pay without collection and late fees. In one week, more than $150,000 in outstanding fines and fees were satisfied. These two Champaign County programs have gained national attention, having been featured by the National Association of Counties (NACO) in both training programs and publications.

Shaping Policy

Clerk Blakeman has taken an active role in the Illinois Association of Court Clerks from the very beginning of her tenure as Clerk. She currently serves on the Technology Committee, and is Co-Chair of the IACC Legislative Committee, often working in Springfield to testify on legislation impacting the courts. She has served on legislative task forces, providing procedural input on how best to accomplish reform goals. Blakeman’s leadership is not limited to her own association, however. She has been appointed to three IL Supreme Court Commissions, and serves as Chair of two subcommittees.

Update of Circuit Clerk's Website to provide greater access to court records

From the first day Katie Blakeman took office, she has been working to improve the Circuit Clerk’s office through technological advances and automation. These efforts have led to approval from the IL Supreme Court for programs that further increase the office’s efficiency and customer service. Examples include electronic reporting of case statistics, the ability to plead and pay online for traffic cases, and the electronic filing of court documents. Blakeman has also undertaken major efforts to improve access to court information and increase transparency in office operations, particularly through the redesign of the Champaign County Circuit Clerk website.

Local Debt Recovery Program

Champaign County Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman began a pilot program in 2014, one of only 5 counties in the state at the time, to participate in the IL Comptroller’s Local Debt Recovery Program. This program allows the state to intercept IL tax refunds, state contracts, and operate wage garnishment of state employees when Champaign County residents have outstanding criminal and traffic fines and fees. To date, more than $1.1 Million has been intercepted, with nearly $800,000 going directly to the County budget.

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making News

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Paid for by Friends of Katie Blakeman