Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

When did Cook County Jail get to be a flee circus?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times

When a Chicago public school is failing, administrators close it down and start over from scratch. It's too bad we can't do the same thing with the Cook County Jail, for it's clear that something is failing there. Two dramatic jailbreaks in the last few days. A jail visitor who somehow allegedly smuggles a gun to her inmate boyfriend, leading to a staged shooting of three inmates. A federal judge ordering the County Board to hire up to 800 more guards to address a shortage.

Whatever officials are doing to fix things, it's not working.

Is the problem complacency by correctional officers? That's what the father of one of Sunday's six escapees thinks. Tyrone Everhart Sr. is a bit more qualified than most parents to assess the situation, since he is a captain on the force at the jail. He even warned that his son, Tyrone Everhart Jr., was plotting an escape, leading to his son being transferred to the maximum security unit. Even that didn't stop the jailbreak.

Or is the problem culpability by guards or staff? It's hard to imagine how you could smuggle a gun into the jail without at least one gua rd looking the other way.

Or is the problem understaffing? A consultant's report last fall found a need to hire nearly 800 new guards. It's easy to see how a corrections officer might take shortcuts if he or she feels overworked or stressed. And it's easy to see how understaffing could lead to longer hours, and then fatigue. Or maybe it leads to someone being assigned to an unfamiliar duty. On Friday, an inmate escaped by slipping into the back of a laundry truck. That's the kind of caper we've seen countless times in the movies, yet a sloppy guard apparently didn't make a simple check as the truck pulled out. And in Sunday's escape, a guard violated policy by entering a unit for violent criminals alone. He was overpowered and six inmates escaped.

Or is the problem lack of leadership? Well, county leaders have provided plenty of ammunition for someone to level that charge at them. This year, for instance, the County Board is boosting funding to hire more correctio nal officers only because the judge ordered them to. And rather than find a responsible way to pay for them, the board simply rejiggered its revenue estimates. That's like spending a raise before your boss gives you one.

And it's a good thing Sheriff Michael Sheahan isn't running for re-election, because the jail would have been a major liability. Even so, Sheahan will be sheriff for another year. Problems with complacency, and problems attributable to understaffing, can be solved with training -- it's clear the jailbreaks and the smuggling would not have happened if procedures had been followed. It's Sheahan's job to find out why they weren't.

Let's get busy finding answers to these questions. And remember, voters will have a chance this November to make sure those answers are good ones.

Recent Headlines

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Report: Incarceration Rates Drop Nearly 20% Under Kim Foxx
Monday, July 29, 2019
WTTW Chicago

Lightfoot blames bond court reform for gun violence
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Chicago Reporter

Cook County Health Hires Audit Firm To Review Scathing Inspector General Report
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Former County Commissioner Shocked Animal Abuser Registry He Worked To Create Was Never Used
Thursday, July 25, 2019
CBS Chicago

No one on County Board sharing Arroyo’s view of inspector general
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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