Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

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



Sheriff, judge joust over jail inmates

Thursday, November 08, 2007
Daily Law Bulletin
by Stephanie Potter

At a contentious hearing Thursday, Chief Cook County Judge Timothy C. Evans and Sheriff Thomas J. Dart debated whose office should be responsible for deciding which jail inmates to release and put on electronic monitoring.
Evans and Dart appeared before the Cook County Board's Finance Committee, which is conducting hearings on the 2008 budget. Commissioners wanted to hear from Dart, Evans and State's Attorney Richard A. Devine about jail overcrowding and criminal cases that some contend are not moving through the court system fast enough.
Dart said electronic monitoring could be a valuable ''relief valve'' to reduce overcrowding in the County Jail. However, Dart wants judges, rather than his office, to determine which inmates should be placed on electronic monitoring.
The county is operating under a federal consent decree meant to reduce overcrowding, but Dart and Evans vigorously disagree over whether the decree mandates that only the sheriff is responsible for deciding who should be released, or whether the court system should have a role. Duran v. Elrod, 713 F.2d 292 (7th Cir. 1984).
The debate first arose in February, when Dart backed state legislation that would make Cook County judges responsible for deciding which inmates should be transferred from the jail to electronic monitoring. The measure, House Bill 2749, is now in the Senate Rules Committee.
Dart told the commissioners that the electronic-monitoring system as it is currently run is reckless.
He said judges, because of their training and experience, are much better suited to decide who should be released on electronic monitoring. He also pointed out that judges have immunity for those types of decisions, while sheriff's officials could be sued if a detainee on electronic monitoring commits another crime.
Evans, however, countered that judges' decisions on bond are, by law, meant only to protect the public and ensure the defendant's presence at future court hearings.
''There's nothing in the statute that permits the judge to even consider anything that is going on in the jail at this particular point,'' Evans said.
However, there appeared to be a possibility for compromise when it comes to defendants' initial bond hearings.
Evans said that if judges are to be involved in determining which detainees are eligible for electronic monitoring, he wants the County Board to fund a pretrial investigation agency to screen defendants. Such an agency would cost about $1 million to establish, Evans said.
That agency would recommend to the court whether a detainee should be eligible for electronic monitoring. If the judge deemed the inmate eligible at the initial bond hearing, the inmate would be sent directly to the sheriff to be enlisted in the program, Evans said.
The pretrial agency also could work with the sheriff's office on which members of the current jail population could be deemed eligible for electronic monitoring, Evans said.
''The judges will make that decision initially,'' Evans. ''But when there's an issue of overcrowding, not bail, then that's when the federal court [consent decree] says that decision should be made by the sheriff.''
Evans also said he would institute a sliding-scale fee schedule for inmates to be put on electronic monitoring, although he and Dart disagreed as to whether that could be profitable for the county.
Evans said, ''I want to remind you, they're in jail because they have no money [for bail].''
But Dart said many inmates have large commissary accounts for junk food, so they likely could afford to pay some fee for electronic monitoring.
Commissioner Timothy O. Schneider, concerned about litigation expenses, asked Evans why judges can't determine who should be released from jail and put on electronic monitoring. Evans said the answer isn't simply immunity, but making sure that judges and the sheriff's office have the needed information about whether a detainee should be released on electronic monitoring.
''The judge doesn't have any clairvoyance about whether that person is going to commit an offense while out on bail,'' Evans said.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: “This has been a bipartisan disaster.”
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WGN Chicago

EDITORIAL: Don’t bungle MWRD’s plan for an independent inspector general
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Pivots To Podcasting To Fight Opioid Abuse
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Body found in vehicle at Cook County Forest Preserve near Hoffman Estates
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Daily Herald

Local legislators tout efforts to help those facing mental health issues
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Pioneer Press

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Monday, February 18, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

EDITORIAL: We could have taken Gary Martin’s gun away
Monday, February 18, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Hours before Aurora mass shooting, former mayors met in Chicago to discuss strategies to reduce gun violence
Friday, February 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

all news items

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