Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.

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



Friction at youth center reported
Administrators have become `adversarial,' monitor tells court

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Chicago Tribune
by Ofelia Casillas, Tribune staff reporter

Tribune staff reporter Mickey Ciokajlo contributed to this report

A court-appointed monitor says her relationship with administrators at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center has deteriorated during the last month, with "adversarial" officials limiting her access, slowing the flow of information and creating roadblocks.

In a report obtained by the Tribune, Brenda Welch, appointed by a federal judge in June to oversee reforms at the troubled center, described an abrupt change from the dealings she had with officials in the summer and early fall.
"The administration of the facility has significantly changed the previously cooperative working relationship to one that could be described as adversarial in nature," Welch wrote in her Nov. 1 status report.

She described policy changes in which floor supervisors and managers were instructed to escort Welch whenever she visited living units. Information was funneled through a new liaison official who has no juvenile justice experience.

Safety and hygiene problems persist, she found in her 20-page report, including residents found sleeping in residential units that were under construction, inappropriate treatment of residents by staff members, and a botched attempt to begin laundering the residents' underwear.

The center's superintendent, J.W. Fairman, vehemently denied any obstruction and said other findings captured an institution undergoing change. He said the monitor has full access for her work.

"That's absolutely not true," Fairman said. "She can talk to us any time. All she has to say is, `I have to talk to them.'"

Benjamin Wolf, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney, said he plans to meet with county officials to discuss a wide range of issues Wednesday. He expects to see a reform plan from a panel of outside experts as soon as this week. That plan will be presented in court.

"We will not tolerate any interference with the compliance administrator's performance of her duties," Wolf said. "We think her reports are accurate and identify the things that need to be done very clearly."

In her report, Welch criticized the appointment of Richard Scott, who came from the Public Health Department to assist with training and policy. He became Welch's liaison with leaders. "It is my opinion that the facility liaison practice has hindered my ability to conduct my duties in an effective and responsible manner," Welch said.

Welch also pointed to potential safety problems, including one instance in which sheriff's deputies were reportedly told not to respond if there were disturbances at the center. Security staffers at the center then expressed concern that they had not been trained to deal with disturbances.

Welch also noted that reports of violence continue. According to one report, residents attacked a youth with a plunger handle; other disturbances resulted in a broken television and door, and in an assault.

"I am aware of 18 allegations of abuse for the month of October," Welch wrote.

Although the center introduced a new program to try to make sure the teenagers had clean underwear, some counselors failed to follow the plan while others mixed and mishandled the laundry. In some cases there simply wasn't enough county-supplied underwear.

Welch also witnessed a troubling exchange between a staff member and a resident who wanted to be let out of his room.

After an exchange of insults, the staffer told the boy, "My gun is bigger than your gun, and I can shoot better. The bigger the family, the better the funeral."

Welch reported the incident, and the staffer was placed on administrative leave pending a disciplinary hearing, she wrote.

Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool pointed to the findings as proof that a change in management is necessary.

"I fear there has not been sufficient public outrage of the abuse of children and other crimes at the juvenile center to force the politicians in charge to do what's right," Claypool said. "Unfortunately politics and patronage continue to be the primary reasons for the existence of the juvenile center rather than as an educational and rehabilitative facility for wayward youth."

Commissioner Mike Quigley said a new county president will be able to make needed changes.

"This thing has gone bad, but it's gone bad right as we transition from one president to the other," Quigley said. "At this point in time all we can do is show this to the new president and convince him that what I've been saying for months now is still true. They need to put together a blue-ribbon panel, do a nationwide search and put the best people in charge of the facility, politics aside."



Recent Headlines

A Cook County no-brainer: Let taxpayers merge these two offices
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Fire Department: 3 hurt at Cook County Jail
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Rush, Cook County hospitals get grant for fight against deadly superbugs
Monday, June 27, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Swallow Cliff Pavilion, Second Stair Set Now Open in Palos Region
Monday, June 27, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

2 shot by Cook County sheriff's deputy in Marquette Park
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Treetop zip lines challenge mind and body in Bemis Woods
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A steep price when jail guards abuse sick time
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Chicago Sun-Times

Why Cook County Health thinks it should expand into nursing homes
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Crain's Chicago Business

For anniversary, couple go for some zip at new forest attraction
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Chicago Sun-Times

New forest preserve attraction puts some zip into recreation
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Chicago Tribune

New forest preserve provides natural beauty, but land dispute gets ugly
Friday, June 24, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Merge Cook County offices of clerk, recorder of deed
Friday, June 24, 2016
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County voters may get chance to consolidate clerk, recorder offices
Friday, June 24, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Grand Opening Ceremony for Swallow Cliff Pavilion, Second Stair Set
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

Tom Dart releases videos of Cook County Jail inmates attacking deputies
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Fox 32 Chicago

Cook County officials call for researching gun violence
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Fox 32 News

Judge allows suit vs. clerk to continue
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Jail Placed on Lock Down as 317 Staff Call in Sick
Monday, June 20, 2016

Cook County Jail on lockdown due to staff shortage
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Chicago Sun-Times

BGA: Discount saved Trump estimated $800,000 in tax on penthouse
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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