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:  
   
 
 

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 first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Cook County fail?
'YOU HAVE A PROBLEM' | Sheriff rejects findings of U.S. attorney's probe that cites medical negligence, abusive behavior by jail guards

Friday, July 18, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
by NATASHA KORECKI

Unnecessary deaths and amputation, grossly inadequate medical care and routine inmate beatings.

Those are some of the disturbing findings at the Cook County Jail after a 17-month civil review by the U.S. attorney's office, which is considering criminal charges against some jail guards.

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald cited anecdote after anecdote of medical negligence, mismanagement and abusive behavior by guards at the jail.

In one case, an inmate left untreated for a gunshot wound developed sepsis and died. One man's leg was amputated after complaints about pains in his bandaged leg went ignored. Guards allegedly beat another man, kicking out his dentures and sending him to the hospital on a respirator.

Just one dentist serves 9,800 inmates, and he only deals in extractions. Twenty five percent of those resulted in infection, the report says.

"When you're talking about unnecessary amputations and deaths -- you have a problem," Fitzgerald said.

The findings were laid out in a 98-page letter delivered to Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and Sheriff Thomas Dart last Friday.

U.S. prosecutors can now force correction of deficiencies at the jail.

Fitzgerald called on officials at the jail, sheriff's office and County Board to quickly remedy wide-scale problems at the nation's largest single-site county jail.

Dart took great exception to the report, saying it ignored sweeping, significant changes he put in place. Dart hired the onetime No. 2 Chicago FBI official, Joseph Ways, to weed out problem officers.

"They have completely ignored all the positive things we've done and painted a picture that is in no way accurate and is horribly disappointing," Dart said. "At the end of the day, I find it to be horribly unprofessional."

Dart said the federal team spent only 10 days at the jail. "You look at this [report], you think we're running a Motel 6, and this is a Boy Scout jamboree," Dart said. "We have some of the most violent people in the county, if not the country."

Dart said the county, and not the jail, should shoulder the blame for medical negligence. The county runs Cermak Hospital. Hospital representatives cite a shrinking budget and significant cuts in staff.

Lack of money, Fitzgerald said, isn't an excuse. "We pay more taxes here than anywhere in the country," Fitzgerald said. "It can't be the only county in the country that can't afford to have a jail that satisfies constitutional standards."

The report found a culture among guards that fostered beatings to the point of hospitalization when inmates talked back or rebuffed orders. Many of the beatings brought lawsuits and costly settlements.

Attorney Richard Dvorak, whose firm is handling four cases involving 15 inmates -- including some referenced in the report -- said federal scrutiny is a long time coming.

"I believe Cook County authorities have shown they are incapable of policing themselves," he said.

Papers filed in one of those cases indicate a federal grand jury is considering criminal charges against some jail guards.

Chicago resident Brandon Sanders said he was released from the jail Thursday after 16 hours with no food.

"They treated us like animals -- less than animals. I wouldn't treat stray dogs the way they treat these inmates."

Contributing: Mark Konkol



Recent Headlines

Wilmette minimum wage working group surveys businesses, will survey residents
Monday, February 19, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-soda tax PAC jumps in Cook County Board races
Monday, February 19, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Circuit clerk gets stay on e-filing order
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Hundreds gather at Bridgeport church for Cmdr. Paul Bauer's wake
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dart goes to court in effort to find person accusing him of domestic violence
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Study says property tax system favors rich
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Property Tax System ‘More Regressive’ in Cook County, Report Finds
Friday, February 16, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

VIDEO: Cook County Jail detainees applaud CPD commander’s alleged killer
Friday, February 16, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Blockbuster report: How Cook County tax system shafts the little guy
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Order over lawsuits in Dorothy Brown’s office put on hold by appeals court
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Dorothy Brown can't 'end-run' First Amendment, judge says in denying delay
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County prosecutors toss more convictions tainted by corrupt ex-Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Handwritten documents, Manila folders, carbon paper — welcome to Cook County criminal court
Monday, February 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

2 Cook County Commissioners missed over a third of Forest Preserve meetings
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail guards lock down sweet union contract—despite sour budget mess
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Running for judge, Dorothy Brown’s inspector general accepts donation from bos
Friday, February 09, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook Co. President Urges Trump To Stop ICE Arrests In Courthouses
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Beverly Patch

Voting in Jail? New Bill Seeks to Expand Ballot Access for Detainees
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

COOK COUNTY BOARD COMMISSIONER PROPOSES HEARING ON POLICE OVERSIGHT
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
WBEZ BGA

Assessor Berrios Extends Deadline for Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption Applications
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

all news items

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