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.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Cook County chaos

Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Editorial

The Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center is out of control. Children languish there like warehoused animals, while millions of dollars are wasted on do-nothing jobs filled by unqualified workers and patronage stooges. ... Kids live in filthy surroundings, with little guidance, under the supervision of workers whose behaviors cheat the residents even more than they cheat Cook County taxpayers.

That's how this page described Cook County's juvenile center in August 2005. Nothing has changed since then.
In the last two years a slew of experts has detailed that the facility, which houses children ages 10 to 17 who are accused of crimes, remains plagued by filth, professional incompetence and dangerous conditions.

Children at the center face "an alarming risk of suicide and inadequate mental health services" and "a climate of fear and violence," say attorneys who represent them. Kids are beaten by staff members and other kids. Attorneys point to "a culture of chaos and incompetence" and "a persistent failure to provide basic necessities."

More than four years ago, the federal court mandated a step-by-step plan to rescue the juvenile center. Cook County leaders agreed to that plan, but they have utterly failed to honor the agreement. And now things have reached a perilous state.

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union asked U.S. District Judge John Nordberg to place the juvenile center in receivership. That's a severe step, but a necessary one.

A receiver would likely be granted greater authority over budget matters, contracts and hiring and firing. A receiver could break the stranglehold that patronage politics has had on the place. A receiver could rescue the kids who live amid rodents, the kids who suffer from mental illnesses and can't get medications.

The request for receivership comes at an awkward time. The Illinois legislature has just approved a bill that would take control of the center away from Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and turn it over to Tim Evans, chief judge of the Circuit Court. We support the bill and hope the governor signs it. But it wouldn't go into effect until January at the earliest. That's too long a time to wait. The situation is too immediate and too dire.

The latest evidence:

In recent months, the center's medical services accreditation has been revoked.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, which has national expertise in juvenile justice, dispatched several consultants to work with facility leaders to improve the place. But the foundation has now dropped out, citing the futility of the effort.

In the last year, the center has had three superintendents -- all three failed. People who had the expertise and experience to bring changes at the center were canned by Stroger. Yet he kept in place unqualified political appointees like Maria Moreno Szafarczyk, sister of county Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno.

So change is needed right now.

Eventually, the center will come under the control of the Circuit Court. But the appointment of a receiver would get quick results and buy time for Judge Evans and his aides to get up to speed on the problems there, to learn from the experts who have been evaluating the place for years.

At a hearing in federal court Thursday, Nordberg suggested he understood the urgency here. We hope he acts quickly on that understanding.



Recent Headlines

Cook County board to vote on new budget today
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WGN Channel 9

Preckwinkle agrees to fewer Cook County job cuts; hundreds of layoffs still in works
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Teamsters Local 700 Files for Temporary Restraining Order Against Cook County Merit Board
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

How Cook County finally got a new budget
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

More than 300 Cook County employees will lose jobs to balance budget
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail Population Down 15 Percent After Bond Reforms
Monday, November 20, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Stroger vs. Preckwinkle: Hide your wallets.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

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