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
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.

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



The waiting game
COOK COUNTY JAIL | Hundreds of inmates have been awaiting trial for years

Monday, July 07, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
by MARY WISNIEWSKI

Uvion Junior was stabbed 20 times during a fight last month involving 20 inmates in Cook County Jail. It wasn't his first jailhouse injury.

Junior, 28, was stabbed in a fight in 2003, according to his wife, Deandria Junior. He has been awaiting trial on murder charges for six years -- making him one of the longest-serving inmates at Cook County.

Long-term inmates like Junior are the most likely to be involved in jail violence, according to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. And while the number of long-term inmates at County has fallen over the last five years, it remains a costly problem -- eating up millions of dollars for food and shelter, delaying justice for both victims and defendants, and making conditions tougher for everyone inside.

"Whenever we have major problems here at the jail . . . it almost always [involves] the people who are here the longest," said Dart. "These are people with nothing but time on their hands."

Junior is one of 36 Cook County inmates who have been awaiting trial more than five years. A total of 430 prisoners have waited two years or more.

Prosecutors, public defenders and criminal court judges began meeting in 2003 to bring the number of delayed cases down, according to First Assistant State's Attorney Bob Milan. The percentage of Cook County inmates who have waited more than a year for trial has fallen to 13.7 percent this year from 18.3 percent in 2003.

"We created a sense of urgency among all the judges, the defense bar and the prosecutors," Milan said.

But there's a long way to go, said Charles A. Fasano of the John Howard Association, a prison reform group.

Cases get delayed for various reasons. Critics say both prosecutors and defense attorneys game the system, with prosecutors wanting time to find witnesses, and defense attorneys hoping evidence will fade. Some county judges are reputedly slower than others at moving cases along. The inmates waiting the longest tend to face the most serious charges.

One way to speed up cases is to add judges. The Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice last year found that Cook County criminal courts should have 65 judges, but have just 40.

That number's about to go to 45. "The introduction of five additional judges will go a long way to alleviate the problems of old cases," said Criminal Court Presiding Judge Paul Biebel.

Also needed are more prosecutors and defense attorneys, Fasano said. Judges need ways to enforce case timelines, even if both parties agree to delays, said Fasano.



Recent Headlines

Live Updates: Looting Causes Food Shortages; Security Firms See Spike In Demand
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
WBEZ

So many were killed by gunfire in Chicago Sunday, the medical examiner brought in extra pathologists for the autopsies
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Pritzker, Preckwinkle, faith leaders look ahead to rebuilding
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Social distancing measures remain in place at county jail
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Protests and peace: Pritzker, Preckwinkle, Cupich call for ‘peaceful action’ to stem ‘contagion’ of racism
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

With Dozens Being Shot Every Day, Anti-Violence Groups Continue Working Amid Looting And COVID-19
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
WBEZ News

Judge tells Cicero no more surprise visits at nursing home where more than a dozen died from coronavirus
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

George Floyd fallout: Gov. J.B. Pritzker deploys National Guard to suburbs, access to downtown Chicago remains restricted
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Circuit Court Clerk introduces electronic options for court information in non-criminal matters
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County sends officers, intel to aid suburban police: ‘We have been called everywhere’
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
The Daily Line

26th employee contracts COVID-19 at Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Senior citizens in subsidized housing have been dying alone at home, unnoticed because of coronavirus distancing
Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Disaster Proclamation Issued For Cook County As Chicago Faces Looting, Vandalism
Monday, June 01, 2020
Blockclub Chicago

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: Carry on peaceful protests, but looters and arsonists will go to jail
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Monitoring Progress in Meeting the Criteria to Move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan
Monday, June 01, 2020
Evanston RoundTable

Chicago protests of George Floyd death live blog: June 1, 2020
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Pritzker declares disaster in nine counties, mobilizes more National Guard troops, calls ‘for calm and peace in our streets’
Monday, June 01, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Zero tolerance for rioting in the fight for police reform
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle, Foxx: Don't let looters hijack reform
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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