Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  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.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



Steele touts improvements at county juvenile center

Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Chicago Defender
by Cheryl Ricci, AP

County officials are seeing gradual but definite changes at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, which has been plagued with charges of violence and abuse against residents there.
At a news conference Tuesday, Cook County Board President Bobbie Steele and detention center Superintendent J.W. Fairman Jr., appointed in August to run the facility, identified improvements in child welfare, staffing and finances that have been implemented in recent months.
Fairman said his staff is working hard to analyze and improve conditions at the center, which he said has been "in need of a major overhaul."
The center, at 1100 S. Hamilton Ave., houses approximately 450 youths awaiting trial or serving time for crimes committed.
In 1999, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit claiming substandard conditions and abuse at the center. In 2003 a settlement was reached, but disagreements between the ACLU and the county board remain over progress in meeting the terms of the agreement.
Fairman pointed to changes made for the health and welfare of detainees at the center. Changes include providing pajamas, pillows and extra underwear to residents as well as evening snacks and enhanced laundry processes.
Share your thoughts
on this story on the ChicagoDefender.com message board.

These provisions are what Steele called "basic staples that all children should have" and are a "comfort to a child who is incarcerated and is scared and alone."
In addition to these "staples," Fairman looked to staffing at the center, an issue brought up in a report by the Illinois prison watchdog group the John Howard Association in October. Fairman disagreed with the association's assessment that more counselors were needed, but did say the center needed more supervisors on staff.
Fairman also said center staff was not given specific instructions or job descriptions. An evaluation of staff and a financial audit are being conducted.
Malcolm C. Young, executive director of the John Howard Association, said in
August the organization saw leadership in place with the capacity and energy to make necessary changes. "Finally, there was some reason to feel optimism," he
said.
However, Young has some concerns over one issue from his center's report -
the reporting of abuse or poor treatment at the hands of staff or other detainees. While his center found the current method, on file in court proceedings, to be unsatisfactory, he feels addressing those issues would not be difficult.
Despite these concerns, Young said, most of what was said at Tuesday's press conference was not an overstatement, and although it took some time, things at the center are "going in the right direction."
Benjamin Wolf, an attorney with the ACLU, is more cautious. "These are chronic issues that affect the health and safety of children," he said. "We're going to stay on top of it and make sure it gets resolved. I certainly hope this effort works."
Fairman acknowledged that despite the recent changes and ongoing analyses, there is still work to be done.
"I think we just scratched the surface," he said. Absent closing the center to start over again, he said, "it's going to take time to trickle down."
Steele echoed his opinion, saying progress takes time, but the current team, which includes assistant superintendents assigned within the past 60 days, has
made "remarkable progress."



Recent Headlines

Records falsified in Metra work logs
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

How we shaft the mentally ill
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Chicago Tribune

County Board Of Review To Digitize, Streamline Property Tax Appeals System
Monday, July 28, 2014
Journal Online

Three DUI arrests, revoked license still on sheriff's payroll
Monday, July 28, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County approves road projects for upcoming years
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Northwest Indiana Times

Palatine, County Forest Preserve To Partner Up
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Palatine Journal Online

Man dies following beating at Cook County Jail
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health Board selects new leaders
Friday, July 25, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

The PrivateBank pledges $10 million to the Cook County Land Bank
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners switch votes, rehire erstwhile contractor
Friday, July 25, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board adds two questions to packed fall ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County to cut buildings' carbon emissions
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Fox 32 Chicago

Cook County Board sends assault weapons referendum to the ballot
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County mulls fund-of-funds investment, other changes
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Pensions & Investments

Forest Preserves of Cook County to get expertise, guidance from new Policy Council
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Preserves and parks offering memorial trees and benches for a price
Monday, July 21, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Community leaders, sheriff aim to help mentally ill inmates
Monday, July 21, 2014
FOX 32 Chicago

TIF Revenue Down 2 Percent in Suburban Cook Co.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Palatine Patch

Recorder of Deeds staffers accused of political motive in firing
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County sheriff's department will focus on catching people wanted on arrest warrants
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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