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



A chance for the juvenile center

Friday, July 20, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Editorial

Negotiators appear to be close to a breakthrough in the prolonged struggle to bring order from chaos at Cook County's detention center for youth. If they can all agree, they will turn the place over to Earl Dunlap, a national leader in juvenile justice.

An imposing man with Kentucky roots, a Downstate home address and a down-home demeanor, Dunlap looks like an excellent choice to lead a turnaround. Representatives for Cook County and the American Civil Liberties Union were negotiating this week on how much authority Dunlap, if hired, would be granted.

If they settle on that, the ACLU would drop its motion to have the juvenile center placed in receivership by the federal court.
One key: convincing Cook County commissioners to give Dunlap enough authority and autonomy to fix the place. The County Board controls the budget and operations for the facility, which houses more than 400 youths.

Another key: Convincing commissioners they can't protect the political hacks they've forced on the payroll at the center.

Dunlap is executive director of the National Juvenile Detention Association. By all reports, he's an aggressive, no-nonsense, hands-on administrator. He has extraordinary experience, and he wouldn't be concerned about Cook County politics.

He's in great demand around the country. Most recently he's been in Washington, D.C., helping to reform a troubled, 80-bed youth detention center there.

"Earl is a really colorful character who has an incredible amount of knowledge about juvenile detention systems," said Vincent Schiraldi, director of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services in Washington. Schiraldi says Dunlap sleeps at the facility to get a sense of what goes on during the midnight shift ... and to save money on hotels.

Sounds promising. But there's one caveat. If Dunlap lacks the budget authority or flexibility to do his job effectively, then it will be a waste of everybody's time. It will be up to Cook County commissioners to ensure he has that authority.

The ACLU, which has documented chronic problems at the center, recently asked the federal court to wrest the place from the county and appoint a receiver. That would require a detailed, public airing of the filth, abuse and gross patronage practices at the center. County officials now appear willing to cede control in a quieter way, as long as Dunlap isn't called a "receiver." How much control he would have over purchasing, contracts and finances, however, is still the subject of intense negotiation.

ACLU officials believe Dunlap would need about a year to stabilize the center, maybe even a little more time. During that time, formal control would shift from the Cook County Board to Tim Evans, chief judge of the Circuit Court, under state legislation approved last spring.

This sounds like a promising solution to a dire situation. And it can get done, provided Cook County politicians finally feel an obligation to fix the disaster they helped to create.



Recent Headlines

SPRING IS FULL OF OPPORTUNITY
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Red Seal opponents file complaint with Preckwinkle
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Sheriff's boot camp teams up with Land Bank
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Sheriff explains reforms in jail mental health system
Sunday, March 22, 2015
CorrectionsOne.com

Official April 7 Election Info Notice Mailed to 940,000 Suburban Cook Households
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Inmate climbs atop air vent at Cook County Jail
Friday, March 20, 2015
ABC 7 WLS

SPRING TROUT FISHING SEASON OPENS SATURDAY, APRIL 4
Friday, March 20, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County seeks more poll workers
Friday, March 20, 2015
Daily Herald

Cook County creates Asian American Advisory Council
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Associated Press

Uncertainty weighs on court reporters
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

MAPLE SYRUP CELEBRATION
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Preckwinkle directs county agencies to identify budget cuts
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Daily Herald

Preckwinkle readies for Rauner budget cuts
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County demands payment from state for kids left waiting in jail
Sunday, March 15, 2015
WBEZ

Newsviews: Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart
Sunday, March 15, 2015
ABC 7

Push for cops to get heroin OD cure
Friday, March 13, 2015
Daily Southtown

Homan Square Station Not a 'Black Site,' But Probe Needed, Official Says
Thursday, March 12, 2015
DNA Info

Public defender nominee a 23-year office veteran
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Preckwinkle Nominates Amy Campanelli for a 6-Year Term as Cook County Public Defender
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Veteran defense lawyer nominated to be Cook County public defender
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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