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

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  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 Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



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

Third annual FPCC photo contest
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County offers back-to-school health checklist
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cook County Inspector General wins round over Berrios on subpoena
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health weighs $70M contract to coordinate patient care
Monday, August 25, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Buck of the Week: Unplugged in Cook County
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois exchange on 3 additional insurers' radar for 2015
Friday, August 22, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health eyes new call center, more nurses to better compete for patients
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Obamacare money boost helps Cook County hospitals budget next year
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health puts brakes on plan to sell HMO on Obamacare exchange
Friday, August 15, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

City home values only glimmer in bleak Cook property value report
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Trends in Estimated Full Value of Real Estate in Cook County
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Civic Federation

Forest Preserves of Cook County Offers Wilderness Camping Opportunities for Families
Monday, August 11, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Court: Bears owe Cook County $4.1 million in ticket taxes
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

3-week closures announced for Crawford repaving
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Skokie Review

Appeals court rules against Preckwinkle tax on business
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Panel: Cook Co. use tax violates state law
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

County awards $680K to groups working to curb recidivism
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Inmates signing up for Obamacare: Dart
Monday, August 04, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Property tax bills rise at Cook County's biggest buildings
Monday, August 04, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

9,000 Cook County Jail Inmates Enroll in Obamacare Amid Mental Health Crisis
Monday, August 04, 2014
5 NBC Chicago

all news items

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