Leadership and protection of young people characterize the distinguished legal career of Kathy Bankhead.
Kathy has been president of the Thornton Alumni Legacy Fund since last year a reflection of her lifelong dedication to her alma mater and the success of students who make it a great school.
After graduating TTHS in 1976, her attention turned just about immediately toward working in the criminal justice system. She received a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Bradley University in 1980. Just three years later, she earned a J.D. (law degree) from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
► Kathy Bankhead is a 1976 Thornton Hall of Fame inductee, to be honored at Alumni Day, Friday, May 8. Learn more, make a donation, buy a ticket to the event.
Kathy is an assistant state’s attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she has worked since 1990.
“I have focused on empowering community residents and organizations, including some police districts and schools by using evidence-based practices to address public safety and quality of life concerns,” Kathy says. She is a Restorative Justice advocate and trained peace circle keeper.
Her positions in the State’s Attorney’s office have included supervisor of the Child Protection Division, bureau chief in the Juvenile Justice Bureau and lead state’s attorney in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau/Community Justice Center-South Side.
Her leadership roles have included interim president of the National Black Prosecutors Association/Chicago Chapter. She is vice president of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice. She is also a Stewart at J. Claude Allen CME Church. While her induction this year into the TTHS Hall of Fame soon may become her most cherished honor, Kathy also was named Assistant State’s Attorney of the Year by the Illinois State Crime Commission in 2009. In addition, the Top Ladies of Distinction, Chicago Chapter, recognized Kathy with their Annual Orchid Award for Community Partnerships.