Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Cook County Jail hiring lags: report

Saturday, December 17, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter

Cook County needs to hire nearly 800 new guards to adequately staff the jail, a consultant's report says -- a process county officials contend could take several years and ultimately cost more than $30 million.

The report released this week concludes that even though about 280 new correctional officers were hired this year at Cook County Jail, many more are needed to comply with federally mandated staffing levels.

The study comes amid ongoing wrangling between Sheriff Michael Sheahan and county commissioners over how many guards to add to meet the terms of a 1996 federal consent decree that requires beefed-up staffing at the sprawling jail. That consent decree -- essentially a legally binding agreement -- came as a result of a federal lawsuit filed by inmates who contended the jail had too many inmates and far too few guards.

A Sheahan spokesman Friday said the recommendations in the report don't sound excessive.

"We think the staffing recommendations in the report are sound and will help to address some concerns in the jail,'' spokesman Bill Cunningham said.

The report by MGT of America concluded that 3,589 correctional officers are needed to properly oversee jail operations. The jail has a roster of 2,791 officers -- 798 fewer than necessary, the report says.

The sheriff's department currently is authorized to have 2,921 guards -- 668 fewer than the number recommended by the report -- but is slightly understrength because of turnover and attrition.

Beefing up the number of correctional officers on duty won't happen overnight. Sheahan in his 2006 budget requested about $10 million to hire 225 new guards.

Process may take three years

"It's something that will take time,'' said Cunningham, estimating it may take at least three years to bring staffing up to levels recommended in the report. The total cost could exceed $30 million, he said.

An attorney representing the inmates who filed the lawsuit said he believes the county should be able to reach the needed staffing levels "within a few years'' but warned that longer delays would provoke more legal action.

"It's not going to be six or seven years,'' said attorney Robert Lehrer, who added, "We're certainly hopeful, and maybe even confident, the county will do what needs to be done.''

A status hearing on jail staffing is set for later this month.

"We're definitely willing to work with the court on this matter,'' said John Gibson, a spokesman for Cook County Board President John Stroger.

The jail currently houses just under 9,000 inmates.

Recent Headlines

Pappas: There's help for senior citizens struggling to pay Cook County property taxes
Friday, December 14, 2018
Special to

Cook County Public Guardian sues DCFS: “Abject moral and human rights failure”
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Capitol Fax

Borrow $10B to help stabilize city pensions along with legal pot, casino and benefit cuts: Rahm
Thursday, December 13, 2018
The Daily Line

CTA Moves Forward with Major Red Line Projects:
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Special to

Cook County repeals lower parking-app tax rate
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

How local suburbs voted in Cook County minimum wage/paid sick leave advisory referenda
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The Bugel

Cook County restores tax on parking apps before January cut took effect
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County Board to take on taxes,toilets at Wednesday meeting
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

PRECKWINKLE’s tax tweak — Details on BURKE raids — State REPUBLICANS look for hope — SUMMERS’ tirade
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Illinois Politico

Woman, 19, arrested after escaping police custody at Cook County courthouse
Sunday, December 09, 2018
WLS ABC Chicago 7

Here's an exciting prospect: A boring assessor's office
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Sheriff starts unique inmate program to combat Chicago's gun epidemic
Thursday, December 06, 2018
RTV 6 Indianapolis

Staff feud at tax appeals board turns nasty
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Tax Bills Posted Online Three Months Early
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
CBS Chicago

County Board makes it easier to choose Preckwinkle successor
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County assessor vows end to favoritism as he takes office
Monday, December 03, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

New Cook County Board members sworn in Monday
Monday, December 03, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County referendums: 'Yes' to everything
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Chicago City Wire

Glenview to discuss Cook County minimum wage, paid sick leave ordinances in December
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wilmette reverses course, fully adopts both county minimum wage and sick time rules
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.