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.

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



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

Two judges confirmed for U.S. District Court in Chicago
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Flu season hitting hard, especially in suburban schools
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cameras allowed in Cook County criminal courts in pilot project
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Live free or die in unincorporated Cook County
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Says Youth Shouldn’t be Tried as Adults
Friday, December 12, 2014
Chicago Defender

Preckwinkle calls for end to automatic transfers of minors to adult court
Friday, December 12, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Obamacare rate hikes in Cook County held in check by competition
Friday, December 12, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Shaping the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Proposed 2015 County Board and Forest Preserve Board meeting schedules.
Friday, December 05, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Hospital Strategic Redevelopment
Friday, December 05, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Mandatory Influenza Vaccination for Personnel
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Cupich leads prayers for Cook County's unidentified dead
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Nurses, get the flu shot
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Be smart about gun-crime sentences
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Embrace Winter in the Forest Preserves!
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Construction Alert - Winnetka Avenue
Monday, December 01, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County, Illinois Files Fair Housing Act Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo & Co.
Monday, December 01, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Wells Fargo Accused of Predatory Lending in Chicago Area
Monday, December 01, 2014
Bloomberg News

Property Fraud Seminar
Monday, December 01, 2014
DNAinfo

Cook County holds transportation policy open houses
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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