- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - The chief judge for the U.S. district court that serves northern Illinois is continuing to make community outreach a priority. Now, it’s by establishing a judicial speakers bureau.

Chief Judge Ruben Castillo (‘KAS-tee-yoh) has previously talked about helping citizens better understand the justice system. The bureau is meant to get even more judges out into public forums to explain how it works.

The clerk of the Chicago-based court, Thomas Bruton, announced the initiative Monday.

It comes one year after Castillo became the first Hispanic to lead the nation’s third busiest district. He said then that community outreach would be among his top priorities.

The district spans from Chicago to Rockford and west to the Iowa border. Its approximately 30 judges handle about 1,000 criminal and 12,000 civil cases a year.

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