Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart To Be Honored with National Justice Award

Selection comes for inspiring work, dedication to cause of justice

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is set to be recognized Tuesday as the 2011 recipient of the John Jay Medal for Justice Community Leader Award – an honor that comes thanks to his inspiring and innovative approaches to law enforcement and community leadership.

In a ceremony set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at The City University of New York Graduate Center, Dart will be honored by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which administers the awards in recognition of those who have shown dedication to the cause of justice.

Each year, a John Jay Medal for Justice Award is given to one outstanding leader in global issues, national issues and community issues – all of whom have worked to strengthen society’s social fabric through justice and civic engagement. Dart is being recognized as an outstanding leader at the community level, for his humane and innovative approach to enforcement of the law during difficult economic times. The awards committee cited Dart’s willingness to stand up to the banking industry and his refusal to carry out mortgage foreclosures until measures were put in place to protect the citizens of Cook County as a main reason behind his honor.

Also set to be recognized are Sunitha Krishan, founder of the anti-trafficking organization, Prajwala, along with Children’s Defense Fund founder/president Marian Wright Edelman.

Dart will join Krishan and Edelman in a Tuesday panel discussion entitled “Standing Up for Justice: Three Different Approaches.” Dart plans to discuss ways he is working to fight recidivism and the programs he’s put in place to help give the men and women being released from Cook County Jail the tools they need to live their lives free of crime.