Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.

Juvenile services win praise
Fewer Cook youths in prison now, report concludes

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Chicago Tribune
by Ofelia Casillas

Cook County juvenile court sent nearly 400 fewer youths to state prisons between 1997 and 2004 because they were referred instead to community-based support services, according to a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation made public Wednesday.

The drop from 902 Cook County kids being sent to state youth prisons in 1997 to 505 in 2004 is attributable to reforms that stress counseling instead of imprisonment, the report noted.

Court officials began sending to a single judge the cases of kids who may need to be moved out of their homes, which reduced residential placements from 426 at their peak to just 25 in 2006.

Court officials found a more efficient way to assess the mental health of kids by assigning each courtroom an expert who interprets psychological assessments and helps identify the appropriate treatment.

Also, Cook County has teamed up with community counseling providers to expand programs that were once only for youths returning home from treatment to include those at risk of going there or to a prison. The therapists help families cope with teens' behavioral problems and help the youths cope with school and neighborhood stressors.

Chief Judge Timothy Evans, who will take on oversight of the troubled Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, said he is thrilled to see the progress of community-based alternatives to detaining youth.

"As we go forward, I hope that we can multiply this success and be prepared for similar success when we take over the administration of the juvenile detention center starting in January. We want to help our children all over this county," Evans said. "We can save the lives of these children."

The Cook County Probation and Court Services Departments created an advisory panel in 2002 of current and former youth in the juvenile justice system to help assess the effectiveness of programs and find ways to improve them. Youth on probation in Cook County attend an orientation led by that council, which has been shown to reduce probation violations.

The court also changed staff hiring and training practices so that the Probation Department now recruits officers with social work backgrounds rather than those in law enforcement and hires people who used to be on probation to join the staff. In the Cook County Juvenile Probation Department, from 1995 to 2006, the African-American staff grew from 38 percent to 50 percent and the percentage of Hispanics on staff doubled.

Citing state figures, Patricia Connell, a juvenile justice consultant at the John Howard Association of Illinois, said the data show a slight increase in youth from Cook County who are being sent to youth prisons run by the state.

"The number is creeping up a little bit. We can't completely pat ourselves on the back. It's still a way smaller number than it was in 1997. But crime rates have dropped since 1997," Connell said.

The Casey foundation report, titled "Beyond Detention: System Transformation through Juvenile Detention Reform," documents reforms at three sites and includes counties in Oregon and California.

Elizabeth Clarke, president of the Juvenile Justice Initiative, an Illinois non-profit, said Cook County is headed in the right direction.

"I really applaud the county for their commitment to expanding alternatives and thereby diminishing reliance on confinement," Clarke said.

Recent Headlines

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the regionís sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

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