Suffredin- Changing County Government  

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.

  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.

Cook County juvenile center and ACLU reach settlement

Thursday, April 20, 2006
Chicago Defender
by Emily Howald

The Cook County Board said it was pleased that an agreement has been reached in the battle between the American Civil Liberties Union and the county over substandard conditions and staff abuse at the juvenile detention center.

"There's nothing more important than our precious children, who are our future," the board said in a statement. "We will continue to focus on the well-being of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center's residents."

The settlement in the 7-year-old federal lawsuit was reached earlier this week. Though details of the agreement have not yet been released, Benjamin Wolf, associate legal director for the ACLU of Illinois, said it includes specific plans for reform.

He said the agreement calls for independent parties to oversee changes at the detention center because the current detention center administration "could not address the problems."

"There is one specific thing left to be done, but we have reached an agreement in principle on all the other details," Wolf said. "My only hope is that once we reach an agreement, we can get on to solve the bigger problems."

Wolf added that both sides agreed not to discuss the case until all issues are resolved. A hearing is scheduled in federal court on May 3, at which time

U.S. District Judge John Nordberg may approve the settlement. Wolf said he hopes to finalize the proposed agreement at that hearing.

In 1999, the ACLU sued the county, claiming that young offenders housed in the detention center had been assaulted and subjected to threats and that conditions at the center were substandard. An agreement was reached in 2002 to improve the overcrowded conditions, but the ACLU has charged the county with failing to carry out that agreement.

The detention center submitted a plan in 2004 to reform the facility and reportedly has been working to implement that plan since then. Two court-appointed monitors have been overseeing the reforms. But in November, the ACLU went back to court, alleging that the center failed to make the agreed changes.

A children's advocacy group based in Baltimore, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, issued a report earlier this year citing multiple instances of battery or assault by detention staff on the young residents.

Most workers at Cook County Juvenile Court Wednesday were unaware that a settlement had been reached. The few who did were tight-lipped about the case.

A staff member at the detention center said he could not comment on the case or the settlement. Al Tomaso, a supervisor for the Cook County State's Attorney's office, said he was surprised at the news of the settlement, but would not comment on the details.

Members of the Cook County Public Defender's office also were surprised to hear about the settlement. A spokeswoman for the public defender declined to comment until the terms of the settlement are released because the public defender represents many of the children in custody at the detention center.

Steve Eiseman, deputy chief probation officer, said he was familiar with the Casey report's criticisms of the detention center. He said there are "areas that were found to be wanting" in the detention center and he believes the settlement "would touch on each of these issues."

Emily Howald is a reporter for the Medill News Service.

Recent Headlines

Northbrook will revisit Cook County minimum wage ordinance in May
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suffredin: County to seek 'safeguards' for golf course road
Friday, November 16, 2018
Evanston NOW

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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