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:  

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


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

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

Claypool targets juvenile site
Steel urged to oust leader, senior staff

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Chicago Tribune
by Ofelia Casillas

Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool called on incoming interim Board President Bobbie Steele Wednesday to replace the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center’s superintendent and senior staff in an effort to root out the facility’s persistent problems.

Claypool cited memos from a court-appointed official, reported in the Tribune, that portrayed continuing problems with hygiene and safety among nearly 400 juveniles held there, as well as resistance to court-ordered reforms.

On Wednesday the Tribune obtained the second status report filed by Brenda Welch, the compliance officer named last month by a federal judge to implement change at the center.

In that report, Welch asked facility Supt. Jerry Robinson about his failure to remove employees accused of abuse from direct contact with children until they could be trained, as county officials had agreed in court they would do.

“It had simply slipped [Robinson’s] mind,” Welch reported.

Welch also reported on a visit she made to the facility at 4 a.m. July 11, in which she found staffers responsible for eight residential units who were asleep and could not find the counselors responsible for five more.

Welch also put a spotlight on difficulties the center had in responding to crises, including a boy who appeared to be attempting suicide, a girl who injured herself and a boy who shattered glass in his cell.  Staff members paged psychologists and therapists, but those experts responded late, or in some cases not at all, Welch wrote.

In a letter to other commissioners, Claypool called Wednesday‘s Tribune report “fresh evidence that the management of the county’s juvenile detention center is failing the children.”

“Bring in your own group of committed professionals who are willing to protect the civil rights of the children detained at the center,” Claypool told Steele, who will be sworn in Tuesday to fill the remainder of President John Stroger’s term.

“After years of inaction by the previous administration, you have the opportunity to take bold action on behalf of these kids.  Their safety – and healthy futures – may depend on it.”

Some Cook County commissioners rallied behind Claypool’s call.

Commissioner Tony Peraica, the Republican candidate for board president in the November election, called Robinson a fine gentleman but said the facility needs a “tough disciplinarian.”

Commissioner Mike Quigley, a Claypool ally, agreed.

“Right now all we are doing is having an ever-increasing, mounting number of people observing the place.  They are all coming back with the same stuff - it’s terrible,” Quigley said.  “I’d love for President Steele to take the initiative and do something bold here.”

Calls to Steele’s office Wednesday were not returned.

In the meantime, residents at the facility face “dirty and unsanitary” conditions, said Welch’s July 15 report.

Welch said she observed standing water from window leaks, and youths drying off their bodies with T-shirts after showering.

Graffiti covered walls and metal ceiling tiles hung loose, exposing insulation, Welch reported.

Robinson “was unaware that the facility did not launder residents’ personal undergarments,” Welch wrote after she spoke to him on July 10.  Residents washed their underwear in their room sinks and toilets, she reported.

When told of sleeping staffers, Robinson said to Welch that “he had observed the same thing when he came to the facility one night,” Welch reported.

Welch wrote that she saw “numerous fights and calls for assistance.”  During a July 7 visit, more than 100 students – out of a facility population of 386 – did not attend school, she reported.

Also, supervisors did not know how many times a day they were supposed to count residents, she noted.

Recent Headlines

Unsung Heroine Award to Emily Guthrie
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Evanston Roundtable

In a twist, Cook County wins $9 million verdict tied to jail strip-search settlement
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Chicago Tribune

15 got promotions from Court Clerk Dorothy Brown within 6 months of donations
Friday, March 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Assessor Berrios loses court fight to overturn Cook County's limits on campaign donations
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

$70 million and counting? Cook County taxpayers face massive tab for sheriff board firings
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Commentary: Dart's misguided approach to jail reform
Monday, March 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Commissioners: Shelve this Cook County job killer
Monday, March 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County alerting investors, delinquent property taxpayers of coming tax sale
Friday, March 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Agnes Lattimer, who became Cook County Hospital medical director and campaigned against lead poisoning, dies
Thursday, March 01, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Emily Williams Guthrie Honored as 2018 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 01, 2018
Special to

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart responds to a lawsuit alleging he’s holding people beyond their constitutional right
Thursday, March 01, 2018
WGN Radio

Extension is scratched, deadline for Cook County property tax online payments remains Thursday night
Thursday, March 01, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Laid-off Cook County Jail commanders sue Sheriff Dart, allege retaliation over union effort
Thursday, March 01, 2018
Chicago Tribune

‘Going rate’ for job in Dorothy Brown’s office? $10K, records allege
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

'Going rate' to buy a job in Dorothy Brown's office? $10,000, employee tells feds
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Jailed woman sues Sheriff Dart over delayed release into electronic monitoring
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Assessor Berrios goes to court to keep property tax lawyers' campaign contributions flowing
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Pay the bagman $10,000 to work for Dorothy Brown?
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Pappas: Women who work for me 'love' wearing Cook County smocks that the men don't have to wear
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Column: Kim Foxx on bond reform, going after violent criminals and the 'reckoning' of #MeToo
Monday, February 26, 2018
Daily Southtown

all news items

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