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Sharone R. Mitchell Jr.

Cook County Public Defender Sharone R. Mitchell, Jr., is a passionate advocate for the rights of everyone represented by the Public Defender's office and for reform to increase justice in the legal system and to keep communities safe. His six-year appointment began in April 2021.

The Cook County Public Defender is one of the largest unified public defender offices in the nation with nearly 700 employees, and 23 divisions and units.  

Mitchell began his legal career as an assistant public defender in Cook County, including assignments in the Civil, First Municipal, and Felony Trial Divisions. He later joined the Illinois Justice Project (ILJP), one of the state’s leading criminal justice reform non-profits, becoming that organization’s director in 2019.

During his tenure as Director, ILJP helped lead the Coalition to End Money Bond's successful effort to outlaw wealth-based pretrial incarceration in Illinois. An advocate of alternative approaches to public safety and helping men and women re-enter their communities, Mitchell has fought against proposals to make the Illinois sentencing system more barbaric and ineffective.

Mitchell has a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and law degree from DePaul University. A lifelong resident of Chicago, he grew up and resides on the south side of Chicago.