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.

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



Cook County juvenile facility severely understaffed, leader says
Employees sometimes find themselves alone in a unit, and as a result, children are often confined to their rooms, let out only to shower, officials say

Sunday, April 06, 2008
Chicago Tribune
by Ofelia Casillas

Almost half of the roughly 560 positions at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center are vacant or inconsistently filled as the number of residents keeps rising, conditions that have become barriers to federally mandated reforms, the facility's leader said.

Earl Dunlap, who was appointed transitional administrator by a federal judge in August, said last week that since January, staff members have used 715 sick days.

An additional 45 employees have asked for paid leave for injuries suffered on duty. About half have been given the leave while the others are pending.

"It's absolutely obscene, particularly when we are seeing a steady increase in the population at the facility," Dunlap said.

Dunlap said he has been requesting since November that county officials post and fill vacant positions at the detention center, an urgent call that has met with delays.

"At every turn I have been prohibited from doing what I need to do, not based on a blatant, 'You can't do that,' but, 'Let me go back and think about it,' and nobody ever comes up with anything. I call it the art of deflection," he said.

With insufficient staffing, employees sometimes find themselves alone in a unit. As a result, children are often confined to their rooms, let out only to shower, officials said.

The shortages contributed to violent incidents at the facility, Dunlap said, including a melee in February during a school program in the chapel. After that, Dunlap ordered that residents be educated in their units instead of at the facility school.

Dunlap has been trying to make due by mandating overtime, a condition allowed for in staff contracts. But because some staff members invoke the county's family leave policy, which allows them to be exempt from overtime, Dunlap said the brunt often falls on the same few employees, who then get burned out.

Dunlap said he has 175 staff vacancies—128 of which are new positions in the 2008 budget, approved in February. He said he has made only two hires since September.

He has 17 employees on leave of absence, two on military leave and 75 on some form of family leave that either allows them to be out of work or on a limited schedule. He has 17 staff members on paid leave after they were hurt on duty.

"You cannot function the way we are currently staffed," Dunlap said.

Eugene Mullins, spokesman for
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, said he blames Dunlap and his administrators.

"Part of the problem has been a failure of their staff to provide the human resources director with current job descriptions. You have to get approval of the job descriptions before you can post the job," Mullins said.


Recent Headlines

Berrios criticized for 'overkill' after he accuses 20,000
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

Improving justice in Cook County
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Camping in Cook County begins Memorial Day Weekend
Friday, May 22, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Forest Preserve employee gets one-year sentence for taking kickbacks
Friday, May 22, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

New Cook County campgraound opens near Calumet City
Friday, May 22, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Our crazy policies for the mentally ill
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Statement in Support of Smoke-free Forest Preserves
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Bike Rental Program Coming to Forest Preserves of Cook County
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

NPR: Sheriff names clinical psychologist to run Cook County Jail
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
National Public Radio

Editorial: Cook County's turn on pension reform
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Chicago Tribune

May 19, 2015 - Cook County Sheriff on Reducing the Jail
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
WTTW Chicago Tonight

County Board passes measure aimed at Berrios' nepotism
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Cook County's turn on pension reform
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Forest Preserves of Cook County Approves Land Purchase in Barrington Hills
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Psychologist to head Chicago jail, nation's second largest
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Reuters

A $394 million tax for Illinois
Monday, May 18, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

Preckwinkle Seeks to Overhaul Government Pension Plans
Monday, May 18, 2015
Chicago Defender

Brandon Marshall, Sheriff Tom Dart 'Huddle Up for Mental Health' at Soldier Field
Saturday, May 16, 2015
ABC 7

C4 to Join the CountyCare Provider Network
Friday, May 15, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Preckwinkle: Years of County Investments in Juvenile Temporary Detention Center Bring Facility into Compliance with Federal Standards
Friday, May 15, 2015
E News Park Forest

all news items

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