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

Cook County Jail inmates testify in lawsuit alleging violence
Monday, October 27, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Inmates enlisted to demolish vacant homes in Chicagoland
Sunday, October 26, 2014
USATODAY

A dose of good news on CountyCare
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Jail guard smuggled weed in sandwiches, feds say
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Undocumented immigrants face long wait to apply for driver’s license
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle Appoints New Leadership for Bureau of Administration, Justice Advisory Council
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

TRAILSIDE MUSEUM TO REOPEN FRIDAY
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Experts to weigh in on housing plan at Mission Hills
Monday, October 20, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Emanuel, Preckwinkle clash over mandatory minimums
Monday, October 20, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Forest Preserve officials find man, 91, safely in Skokie Lagoons
Monday, October 20, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Stay healthy this flu season by getting a flu shot.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Editorial: How to cut county prison population
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

FALL FOLIAGE APPROACHES PEAK COLOR
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Sheriff to have seized guns turned into jewelry
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Kadner: The cost of saving on mental health care
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Daily Southtown

Despite $1.9 million investment, Cook court parking fees abandoned
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Daily Herald

Here's hoping Metra's fare hikes will be worth it
Friday, October 10, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

Average Metra fare to jump 68 percent over 10 years under proposal
Friday, October 10, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Expert testifies guard at Cook County Jail let inmates fight
Friday, October 10, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Metra is on right track
Friday, October 10, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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