Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois
Elected 6th judicial subcircuit in 2012; Retained 2018
JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: Judge Santiago currently presides over traffic and misdemeanor matters at the 3rd Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County. She also presides over the restorative justice court located in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago which allows emerging adults between the ages of 17 to 26 to complete services in exchange for a dismissal of their criminal charges. She was previously assigned to the First Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County-Traffic Division and various Misdemeanors and Preliminary Hearing Branch Courts throughout Cook County.
LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Prior to being elected to the bench, Judge Santiago worked at the Cook County Public Defender office as an assistant public defender. She was assigned to the 3rd Municipal District trying traffic and misdemeanor bench and jury trials. She was then transferred to the Criminal Division at 26th and California where she defended adults charged with felonies. She ended her career at the juvenile justice division where she defended children 16 years of age or younger with criminal cases.
EDUCATION: Judge Santiago received her juris doctorate in 1996 from John Marshall Law School. In 1993, she received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. She graduated in high school in 1989 from Lane Technical High School.
MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS: Judge Santiago is past president and current board member of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, past president of Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois Charities, past board member and current member of Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, member of Hispanic National Bar Association, and member of Illinois Latino Judges Association.