Senior Policy Advisor, National Criminal Justice Association, Washington, DC
Formerly Executive Director, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Chicago, IL
Before I was half way through my interview of Junaid Afeef, I knew that I wanted to hire him as attorney for the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the state agency of which I was the Director. It was a decision I was never to regret.
Junaid’s experience and judgment proved invaluable. The agency had just received $50 million dollars under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to award as grants to Illinois criminal justice agencies. This funding was subject to strict scrutiny by the United States Department of Justice as well as the governor’s office. New federal regulations had also been enacted which required the agency to adopt even stricter standards for its grant administration. The created a multi-agency task force to develop rules for administration and reporting of grant activity. Junaid was a key part of that effort. His initiative was valued throughout the state agencies involved in the task force. Given his experience with federal grant regulations, he was a source of knowledge and guidance for this successful statewide effort.
Junaid was also keenly focused on promoting the new and growing field of evidence-based practices governing criminal justice policy. His judgment was to benefit the agency and its criminal justice agency grantees in guiding them toward better practices and policies, policies that would produce better public safety results.
Junaid’s election as State’s Attorney of Kane County will serve to make its citizens safer and its criminal justice system more progressive, fair and responsive to the needs of Kane County.