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:  
   
 
 

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

   
 

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

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Juvenile center reforms detailed
Wide-ranging plan covers changes that experts have sought

Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Chicago Tribune
by Mickey Ciokajlo

Teens housed at the troubled Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center would receive better medical and mental health care under a comprehensive and detailed set of reforms released Monday.

The wide-ranging, 129-page agreement codifies many changes activists and experts have demanded, while detailing how Cook County will satisfy a court agreement reached last year with the American Civil Liberties Union.
The plan calls for staff members to write a report about any incident that jeopardizes the safety of staffers or residents by the end of that shift and for copies to be provided to county officials, parents or guardians, and attorneys within 24 hours.

The county will provide and launder residents' underwear. Rooms with plumbing problems must be closed. Even the type of food carts used and the color of paint on wood trim are detailed in the document.

Under the plan, a court-appointed official will have full access to the facility--a point of some contention in recent months.

Months in the making, the plan is set to take effect Monday with the last of the called-for reforms to be implemented within six months.

The county and the ACLU have been in and out of federal court for years over a lawsuit the organization brought in 1999 alleging poor treatment of the children in the facility.

Last year, a federal judge appointed a compliance administrator and ordered a group of experts to devise a plan for improving the facility.

"I think it provides a road map for the steps the county has to take to finally provide safe conditions and adequate health and mental health services for the children at the facility," said Benjamin Wolf, an ACLU lawyer. "The key will be implementing it."

Steve Mayberry, spokesman for County Board President Todd Stroger, said the administration "embraces" the plan "and thanks the monitors for creating a comprehensive document."

"The many guidelines and recommendations include some steps that are already under way, in keeping with our mission of establishing a safe and clean environment while the young people are in residential custody," Mayberry said.

Since she was appointed last year by U.S. District Judge John Nordberg, compliance administrator Brenda Welch has filed some scathing reports to the court detailing failings by the county. They have included safety and hygiene problems as well as a move by the county to limit her access to information.

County officials denied some of Welch's characterizations and said they have cooperated with her.

In a cover letter to the plan issued Monday, court-appointed monitors Charles Fasano and Michael Mahoney made it clear that Welch needs "virtually unimpeded access" to the facility.

"Her role as specified ... requires a high level of communication and cooperation," Fasano and Mahoney wrote. "Her duties, therefore, cannot be performed with limitations on her activities, including access to the facility and staff, or with information that is limited in scope or not timely."

One of the plan's most significant changes will bring new leadership for medical and mental health services, Wolf said.

In October, former County Board President Bobbie Steele announced that the center's medical personnel would be placed under the control of the Bureau of Health Services.

The plan will require the county to spend more money in 2007 on mental health services in particular, although a hard estimate was not detailed.

Fasano, who is also the court-appointed monitor in a separate lawsuit involving the county jail, said the extra funds needed would not be close to what has been required by the sheriff in recent years for the hiring of hundreds of additional correctional officers.

However, the plan governing the juvenile center comes at a time when Stroger is directing all department heads to cut spending by 17 percent.

"They're not going to be able to cut here," Fasano said. "If they do, they're on a road to disaster."

Mayberry said officials were working to reduce the $22 million budget "in a manner that will bring efficiency and cost savings without negatively affecting the detention center's operations."

Wolf said the plan would also bring about changes to management practices.

Under the heading "discipline confinement," the plan requires that one hour of exercise outside of children's rooms be incorporated into disciplinary policies.

Another section mandates that each youth "will be provided with soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, and towels."

Wolf said the ACLU has been frustrated by the pace of progress at the center. He said the plan gives the ACLU a tool to push the county toward compliance.

"This plan now gives us a structure to go over the rough terrain that lies ahead for the next several months," Wolf said. "I know they're having a tough budget, but these children are entitled to adequate care."



Recent Headlines

Free Radioactive Radon Test Kits From Cook County
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Toni Preckwinkle and county watchdog at odds over political travel reimbursements
Friday, January 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County judges — one cleared of gun charge, one reassigned for anger management — to return to bench at criminal court
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

It's been a bad decade for property taxes
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Bond court reform has not put more violent offenders back on the street
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Glenview pushes minimum wage, paid sick leave discussion to next week
Tuesday, January 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

How Fritz Kaegi Plans to Transform the Cook County Assessor’s Office
Friday, January 04, 2019
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Cook County Health recognizes Cervical Health Awareness Month
Friday, January 04, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

2 neighborhood courthouses close: 'You’re discouraging citizens from going to court'
Friday, January 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Campaign money tied to Ald. Edward Burke’s alleged extortion scheme was intended for County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, sources say
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County, parking operators in dispute over possibly millions in back taxes that could leave consumers pinched
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle pursues back taxes from parking lot operators
Wednesday, January 02, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

30K Cook County homeowners to get $8.3M in automatic property tax refunds
Monday, December 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

2019 preview: Glenview to consider minimum wage
Monday, December 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

'If I can do this, you can do this': Cook County judges inspire students of similar backgrounds
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

The Price Tag Of Freedom For Hundreds Of Non-Violent Cook County Inmates Is Less Than $2,000
Thursday, December 27, 2018
CBS Chicago

Give the Gift of Nature
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Why those 19 inmates were in Cook County Jail
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Medical examiner slow to review cases of fired pathologist who missed a murder
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County may unplug regional gang database that began in Northwest Indiana
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Northwest Indiana Times

all news items

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