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
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 was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



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

CHICAGO TONIGHT: Voters to decide on downsizing Cook County government
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Voters to Decide on Downsizing Cook County Government
Monday, August 22, 2016
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Commentary: In defense of Judge Turner (sort of)
Monday, August 22, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Cook County seeks $400K in amusement taxes from Evil Olive, Beauty Bar
Monday, August 22, 2016
Chicago Tribune

President Preckwinkle applauds signing of juvenile justice bill
Monday, August 22, 2016
Windy City Times

Lester: Illinois Supreme Court justice goes undercover in bond court
Monday, August 22, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Judge not: Voters, this isn't the way to fill a $188,000-a-year job
Monday, August 22, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Questions Whether Electronic Music Is Really Live Music Or Cultural
Friday, August 19, 2016
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

First Human Case of West Nile Virus in Cook County
Friday, August 19, 2016
Patch Local

New Trier rowers' success a reflection on cleaner waters
Friday, August 19, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

Led by Chicago, Cook County property values continue recovery
Friday, August 19, 2016
Crain's Chicago Business

First human case of West Nile virus in suburban Cook County
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

Evanston Township Dissolution Saves Taxpayers Nearly $780,000
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Civic Federation Blog

Cook County goes after small venues for back taxes, arguing their bookings don't count as live music or culture
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Chicago Reader

Cook County eyes transportation projects that spur development, jobs
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Many New Trier homeowners see jump in assessed property values
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge accused of letting law clerk hear cases
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
WLS Chicago

Letter: Escape the city and explore the Great Outdoors in Cook County
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Two detainees charged with taking over part of Cook County Jail
Monday, August 15, 2016
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Land Bank is chipping away at abandoned properties one house at a time
Friday, August 12, 2016
Chicago Reader

all news items

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