Joliet, Illinois is a thriving city, (population143,008 – US Census Bureau est.), approximately 40 miles southwest of Chicago. The Des Plaines River bisects the sprawling, nearly 40-square-mile city, creating a “west side” and an “east side.” After much westward expansion, Joliet now has both a “west side” and a “far west side” while the portion of the city west of the Des Plaines River and east of Interstate 55 is considered Central Joliet.
Once an industrial city known for many limestone quarries, Joliet developed into a flourishing tourist destination in the early 1990’s when riverboat casinos and gaming were introduced. The Hollywood Casino Joliet and Harrah’s Casino draw hundreds of thousands annually to Joliet. The exterior of the notorious Joliet Correctional Center, a filming location for numerous television shows and movies, is also a popular tourist attraction. Joliet Correctional Center closed on February 21, 2011; budget cuts and the obsolete and dangerous nature of the buildings were cited reasons. All of the inmates and most staff were transferred to Stateville Correctional Center.
Joliet’s industrial base still thrives but is more diversified, with industries ranging from oil refineries to high-tech operations. The major employers of Joliet, Illinois include Caterpillar, two hospitals, the casinos, County Government, and ExxonMobil Corporation. Because of the location, Joliet has also become a major Midwest transportation hub served by railroad and truck lines used to transport shipments of coal, fuel oil, chemicals, grain, and a variety of manufactured goods.
A number of Joliet, Illinois residents work in nearby Chicago, utilizing two major Interstate Highways, Interstate 55 to the north and west of Joliet, and Interstate 80, which bisects the city and connects Interstate 57 to the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation report 3,279 vehicle crashes in Joliet in 2009, with 8 fatalities, including 110 truck crashes involving semi trucks with trailers and 38 motorcycle crashes on Joliet’s busy roadways. Fortunately, only 165 of these crashes were Injury Classification A crashes, a designation used when any injury, other than a fatal injury, occurs which prevents the injured person from walking, driving, or any other activity which they were capable of performing before the injury occurred. These injuries may include severe lacerations, broken bones, head injuries, chest injuries, and abdominal injuries.
Joliet, IL residents have access to two medical institutions committed to providing healthcare to the community — Silver Cross Hospital and Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center. A variety of medical, dental, and chiropractic centers, and private physician offices are also located within the city.
Joliet is in Will County, Illinois, where the city serves as the county seat and home of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court. A unified, three-tiered judiciary consisting of the Circuit Court, Appellate Court, and Supreme Court serves IL. The Circuit Court is a court of general jurisdiction with original jurisdiction in all civil matters such as medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and personal injury cases, and in criminal matters. The Will County Courthouse is located at 14 W. Jefferson Street, Joliet, IL 60432.