My Promise to Champaign County

Accessibility



​It is critical that access to public records remain free and open to all residents. I am committed to providing increased access to public information through our website and in person. As an expert in information technology, I am passionate about continuing to make improvements that increase access to justice for all residents who seek our services.

Technology

The judicial system in the State of Illinois is rapidly evolving – I want to make sure that Champaign County is a leader in the electronic services our customers need and deserve. We continue to work at the forefront of eBusiness initiatives, such as eFiling, eCitations, and electronic notifications.

Customer Service

 

The Circuit Clerk's office is the front desk of the judicial system. As your Circuit Clerk, my job is to serve you. And this means being available and accessible. So, don’t be surprised if I greet you at the front desk! Having direct interaction with our customers helps to give me a better understanding of how I can improve the efficiency of our service to the public.

Accomplishments



  • Creation of new comprehensive Circuit Clerk website using local Urbana tech firm Pixo.  The site is multilingual, fully ADA compliant, providing access to those with visual impairment and cognitive disabilities.

  • Integrated real-time court records into the new website.

  • Increased the size and diversity of the Jury Pool in Champaign County.

  • Increased the number of public computer terminals and scanners to assist self-represented litigants with electronic filing.

  • Serving on the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Standardized Forms Committee.

  • Created plain language and easily accessible digital forms for filers who can't afford attorneys.

  • Became the first non-attorney to recognized with the  Joseph R. Bartylak Pro Bono Award by the Board of Directors of the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, for "bettering the lives of Champaign County citizens through expanding access to court records"

  • Working with County Board members and other community stakeholders to assist in creating a community justice data portal as recommended by the Racial Justice Task Force.  

Accomplishments



  • ​First County in the State of Illinois to be fully integrated with statewide e-filing system.

  • Implemented electronic disposition reporting thereby reducing turnaround time for state agency acceptance from 6 weeks to 48 hours.

  • Implemented electronic guilty plea system allowing an easy resolution to simple traffic cases including online payments.

  • Implemented a Jury notification system that allows jurors to be alerted by text or email of changes to their service dates leading to zero no-shows for service since 2016.

  • Serve on the Illinois Association of Court Clerks Technology Committee.

  • Appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court e-Business Subcommittee.

  • Implemented new scanning procedures immediately after being sworn into office that has saved the taxpayers 56 cases of paper and the equivalent of 2 full-time employees in labor costs.

  • One of the first five counties in Illinois to participate in the Illinois State Comptroller's Local Debt Recovery Program which has resulted in the recovery of $1.5 million in outstanding debt.  $1 million of which remained entirely in County funds.

Accomplishments



  • Created the first full service, no-cost, Expungement and Record Sealing Summit outside of the City of Chicago.  A program that, to date, has helped over 600 individuals seek criminal record relief impacting more than 2,000 cases. 

  • Created downstate Illinois' first Amnesty Week providing an opportunity for individuals to clear court fines and fees without burdensome collection and late fees.  More than 300 people have regained driving privileges thanks to this program.   

  • Worked with sponsors of the landmark Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act legislation that radically overhauls how court fines and fees are assessed providing increased transparency for criminal and traffic defendants and improved access for civil litigants.

  • Actively recruiting and hiring bilingual employees to improve access to the courts.

  • Implemented an online jury questionnaire form leading to a $13,000 yearly saving in printing and postage.

  • Advocated for the inclusion of private lactation space in the Courthouse.

  • Served as an appointed member of the Expungement and Criminal Justice Working Group evaluating record clearance procedures for the legalization of adult use cannabis.  

  • Formed partnerships with the  University of Illinois College of Law to provide training and volunteer opportunities through the Expungement and Record Sealing Summit.

Contact 

PO Box 102 Urbana, IL 61801

Paid for by Friends of Katie Blakeman