2024 State's Attorney Candidate Questionnaire

What is a State’s Attorney in Illinois and What Do They do?

A State’s Attorney is an elected official for each county in Illinois who serves as the chief legal representative. That means that the State’s Attorney has a large role in the legal matters for the county, and influences policy on the local, state, and national levels.

Why do State's Attorneys matter to ACLU voters?

Legal System

State’s Attorneys are among the most powerful people in the legal system. The State’s Attorneys enforce the state laws in the county, and represents the county in civil litigation matters that can have significant impact in civil liberties issues. They also make key decisions in criminal cases about who gets charged, what charges are filed against an individual and what punishments a defendant faces. This requires the State’s Attorney to work with local law enforcement. But the office can independently set priorities and create programs at the county level that bring needed changes to the criminal legal system and bring equity and fairness to the system.

State’s Attorneys can:

  • Set charging priorities and policies within the office that address systemic inequality within the criminal legal system.
  • Create and implement innovative programs that divert people out of the criminal legal system before they incur a criminal record that will follow them throughout their lives.
  • Develop programs that protect survivors of violence, including survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Determine how the county implements new laws including ending the use of money bond in our state.
  • Work closely with law enforcement to enhance and strengthen police accountability.


State’s Attorney work at the state level in Springfield to influence policy around the criminal legal system. State’s Attorneys partner with advocates and other organizations to push affirmative legislation and work to defeat legislation.

State’s Attorneys can:

  • Work with prosecutors from across the country to address criminal legal system policy, including pushing back against “tough on crime” narratives that drive inequitable policies and new penalty enhancements which exacerbate overincarceration in Illinois.
  • Work in Springfield with other State’s Attorneys to advance or oppose legislation that impacts the criminal legal system, including measures that require additional police accountability and address racial inequities in the system.
  • Work with local officials to implement new state laws, including the new law that ends money bond in the state of Illinois. 

For the 2024 Election, we asked State’s Attorney candidates in Cook and Lake Counties where they stand on some of these critical civil liberties issues.

COOK COUNTY   Lake County 

If you do not live in either of these counties, here are some questions you should ask your county’s State’s Attorney candidates to find out where they stand on important issues.

Find more information about registering and voting in the 2024 Election