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.

  Cook County Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.

New county legislation makes life easier for ex-felons

Thursday, December 06, 2007
Chicago Defender

Cook County Board of Commissioners President Todd Stroger has jumped on the 'ex-offender initiative' bandwagon. On November 28, County Board members voted to approve his Reentry Employment/Bid Incentive. Under the new initiative, construction companies willing to hire ex-offenders will have increased chances to contract county work. The work must be valued at $100,000 or more, and ex-offenders must complete between five and 15 percent of it.
Cook County Commissioner Earlean [cq] Collins, who voted to approve the program, said that it is the first time Stroger has sponsored such an initiative. "If we're going to give ex-offenders employment that provides more than minimum wage, it needs to be an industry where they can learn a trade," Collins said, "There's a new emphasis on employment opportunities for ex-offenders when they come out of the institution."
"Every year, some 20,000 ex-offenders are released to the streets of Chicago. I understand that people don't have much sympathy for former criminals. But as I've said many times, if we don't help them become productive members of society, they'll return to crime," the mayor said in a February press conference.
But Collins noted that legislators' shift towards prisoner re-entry is, in her opinion, a shift a way from prisoner rehabilitation. And she is adamant that one cannot work without the other.
"The emphasis has gone away from rehabilitation within prison, and towards employment outside. But a lot of that is wishful thinking. If persons have been in for a long time, and haven't learned a specific skill or trade when they get out, they will not succeed," she said.
In 2004, Illinois faced its highest recidivism rate ever, at 54.6%. According to the mayor's office, in 2006 over 50 percent of all released Illinois prisoners returned to the city of Chicago.
Those numbers were followed by a flurry of legislative and executive movements establishing ex-felon assistance programs.
In recent years, Mayor Richard Daley, Governor Rod Blagojevich and Congressman Danny Davis (D-7) have established programs facilitating ex-felons re-entries to the community.
Davis is one of the main architects of the Second Chance Act, which authorizes grants for transitional assistance to ex-offenders. The bill passed in the House this November.
In February 2005 Governor Blagojevich signed Senate Bill 3007, which allows certain criminal records, including Class 4 felony substance abuse and prostitution violations, to be sealed. The bill does have some provisions; offenders must have three to four years of good behavior, and employers can access the sealed records under certain circumstances.
And In May 2004, Mayor Daley formed the Mayoral Policy Caucus on Prisoner Reentry, which works in an advisory capacity with government, business, civic, faith, academic and social service organizations. According to the mayor's office, city funding of programs for ex-offenders has increased from $400,000 in 2004 to $2.6 million in 2007.


Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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