Dan Guerin is the newest chief judge in DuPage County.
“There’s a lot of moving parts and the best way I describe it – I’ve got to cooperate with a lot of people – so I work with the DuPage County Board, State’s Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, the DuPage County Bar Association, other elected officials in the county. And we all kind of work together to try to make sure that justice is done around here in this courthouse,” said Guerin.
He takes the bench that oversees the entire 18th judicial circuit with almost 30 years of experience practicing law and as a judge serving in the criminal division.
“Well I enjoyed being in the courtroom very much. I presided over a lot of trials as a felony judge – a lot of first degree murder cases, major felony cases – and after a while I felt, although I enjoyed it very much, I liked the policy and the procedure type of things as well.”
Since starting two months ago, Guerin has been excited to accomplish big things as the chief judge like creating specialty courts that will help first offenders avoid a life of crime.
“We have drug court that is a terrific program, it’s been up for years, but it is for mainly geared for people who have a lot of trouble in the legal system,” said Guerin. “We don’t have the same effort and attention and focus on the people that are just starting out in the system and I think that’s what we need to do so that they don’t end up looking at those serious penalties down the road.”
Guerin hopes to create specialty drug, mental health, and veteran’s courts in his new position.
“If you’re thinking about policy or different procedures or different courtrooms to form or different ways to help people – I think that part of [this job] appeals to me very much,” added Guerin.
He’s also working to get more judges in schools to interact and discuss with students how the courts work.
Dan Guerin succeeds Chief Judge Kathryn Cresswell who served in the position for three years.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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