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Juvy center isn't safe for kids: administrator

Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON

pCook County's Juvenile Detention Center "is not a safe place for kids" and is "just not a good place," said the administrator who's been running the center for the past six weeks.

In a pull-no-punches style, Earl Dunlap told the County Board on Monday he needs dozens more employees -- many in middle management -- to adequately run the center, which is home to about 500 children.

Dunlap said that ideally, Cook County would have multiple, smaller, more community-based juvenile centers. So he wants to transform the "one large albatross" facility into 10 smaller ones, each with about 50 children and each with its own team leader.

He said that for too many years the center has had "an accountability issue" among staff, and he plans to improve the hiring process, strictly adhering to higher standards.

The center is set to be turned over next year from Board President Todd Stroger to Chief Judge Tim Evans, a move Dunlap predicts will bring added accountability.



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