On the Issues
As a sitting judge bound by standards of ethical conduct for the judiciary, there are a number of public policy questions that Judge Jessica cannot address. It is important, however, that voters have an idea of Judge Jessica’s background, her strong ethical standards, and her professional journey from a prosecutor to a sitting associate judge.
With institutions under threat and ethics issues front and center in peoples’ minds, it is more important than ever that members of the judicial branch hold themselves to the highest ethical standards.
Judge Jessica believes that even the appearance of impropriety by a judge hurts the very foundation of the judicial system. Every party going before the judge should have the expectation that judge is fair, is following the law, will give equal justice no matter who is before them.
She also believes that being a judge is a public trust, and that she must live her life knowing that the next generation is watching.
Crime and Punishment
Judge Jessica knows that evil exists. As a prosecutor, she handled some of the worst cases you can imagine, including homicides and sex offense cases involving minors. And as a young woman in law school, Judge Jessica’s own family experienced unbelievable tragedy that gave her perspective into the importance of the rights of survivors of violent crime.
Being a judge requires perspective, and an understanding of what’s fair. Sometimes, diversion programs help youth reform and learn how to be an integral part of their community. Other times, incarceration is the only option to keep the people safe from harm. Judge Jessica believes judgment and temperament, and an understanding of the specifics of each case, help wise judges discern what is necessary when a person goes outside the bounds of the law.
Judge Jessica grew up in a loving family and has worked hard with her husband to build one for herself and her children. She believes it is essential that our criminal justice system exist to keep families safe, protect the family unit, and understand the differences that exist in family dynamics across the county. As a judge in the family division, ensuring what is in the best interest of the family is of particular importance to Judge Jessica.
A proud member of Ironworkers Local 473, Judge Jessica’s father worked as a Steel Crane Operator at Chicago Heights Steel (later Allied Steel), and was a union steward for several years. As a child, she was moved by her father’s work ethic and the pride that he had (and continues to have) in his work. She fondly remembers watching her father dress up in his best suit for union meetings, proudly affixing his union pin.
Joe Colón’s union wages allowed Judge Jessica’s mother to stay home and raise the family. Together, they were able to live their own version of the American Dream.
As a prosecutor in the State’s Attorney’s Office, Jessica was a card-carrying, dues-paying member of AFSCME Local 1028.
Engaging the Next Generation
Judge Jessica knows how important it is that the next generation of citizens, residents, leaders, and workers is afforded the opportunity to survive and thrive. That’s why, if elected, she will focus her efforts to create additional programming within the 12th Judicial Circuit to train, educate, and empower Will County’s youth for a future of lawful purpose, service, and commitment to others.
Judge Jessica has also worked hard to train the next generation of attorneys and judges, working extensively with the Will County externship program, attending speaking engagements at schools across the Chicagoland region in every level of education, and teaching school for new judges.