Paul Carpenter is running for State’s Attorney
As State’s Attorney, Paul’s focus will be on building a safer Winnebago County, and he knows what is working, and where improvements can be made.
Criminal Justice Reform
● Expand successful, progressive crime-reduction programs
● Explore community partnerships for deferred prosecution initiatives
● Present measurable sentencing recommendations, addressing both the crime and its roots, for trackable course correction
● Increase use of proven, community-based strategies that reduce recidivism, which makes our county safer.
● Improve efficiency in the criminal justice system to ensure prompt, respectful case handling
● Work seamlessly with Family Peace Center organizations to provide survivors & families with needed services
● Help de-stigmatize domestic violence cases to increase public awareness and support
● Improve prompt, respectful, trauma-informed case handling, working closely with community resources.
● Retain skilled prosecutors by ensuring they have the time, resources, & support needed
● Revise recruitment to attract diverse, high caliber prosecutor candidates
● Continue successful efforts to attract experienced prosecutors to our office
● Expand community relationships to improve public safety
● Lead in conflict resolution for harmony among elected county officials
● Provide complete legal counsel to eliminate unnecessary lawsuits involving Winnebago County
Paul’s Legal Experience
Paul Carpenter has been a Winnebago County Assistant State’s Attorney since 2011. Prior to his service in the State’s Attorney’s Office, he was in private practice in Rockford, since being sworn in as an attorney in 2001. Paul’s experience includes litigating criminal and civil cases, as a prosecutor, plaintiff’s attorney, and defense attorney.
He has successfully handled cases across Northern Illinois, including jury trials in county courts and federal court, as well as appellate cases, including successfully arguing an appellate case before the legendary Judge Richard Posner in the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Primarily serving in the Civil Bureau of the State’s Attorney’s Office, he has extensive experience working with the many elected officials and departments in the Winnebago County. He also has experience in inter-governmental negotiations with municipalities in Winnebago County, including the City of Rockford.
Get to know Paul
Paul was born in Minnesota on his parents’ dairy farm. When he was 10, his family moved to Illinois, and he graduated from Harvard High School in 1993.
Growing up on a family farm, his parents weren’t able to provide the financial resources that a lot of future lawyers often have. But they did instill the importance of education, and they were able to provide another commodity: livestock–specifically one Holstein calf. The calf, which Paul cleverly named “Stick,” grew to a valuable milk-producing cow, and was eventually sold. The money was placed in a college fund, and eventually, Stick paid for a year or two of college!
Paul graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from University of Illinois-Springfield in 1997 before having the opportunity to go to law school at Northern Illinois University, with the help of student loans and grants. He graduated cum laude in 2001, and, after passing the bar exam, was sworn in as a lawyer on November 8, 2001.
Paul has two teenage children, who are students in Rockford Public Schools. You’re likely to see Paul spending time with his children at various school events, or running on the Sinnissippi bike path, or hiking and kayaking at Rock Cut State Park.