In August 2018, Illinois enacted a new law requiring courthouses across the state to make a room or area available to the public for pumping breast milk and ensuring that lactating parents have access to a clean, private space outside a bathroom. No one should have to choose between participating in our state’s justice system (as a juror, lawyer or litigant) and being able to provide healthy food for their child. Too often, parents are confined to an unsanitary bathroom stall for expressing breast milk.  Under the law, the lactation room or area must be equipped with a chair, a table, and an outlet – as most breast pumps require a power source.

As we pass the year anniversary of this new law, the ACLU surveyed courthouses across Illinois to check on their compliance with the law. Read the report to see the progress that has been made and where work is still needed. You can also see a list of best practices that we compiled for courthouses to make sure that lactation accommodations are readily accessible to the public

Update: Since the release of this report, we have heard from several counties that the information which was reported to us by courthouse staff during our survey process does not accurately reflect the existence of lactation accommodations in their courthouse(s). The following counties have shared additional information with us about the availability of lactation accommodation in their courthouse(s) – Boone, Champaign, DuPage, Kendall, Lake, Marion, Stephenson, Whiteside, Williamson, and Winnebago. While it is good that these accommodations exist, such discrepancies underscore why it is so critical that all courthouse personnel are educated about the existence of lactation space and the procedures for access. It is not enough to simply designate a lactation space at the courthouse – parents must have the information to be able to actually access that space when they need it.