Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

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.

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



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

Morning Spin: Coke, Pepsi, Dr Pepper give campaign cash in soda tax fight
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County’s ‘health’ lie, in black and white
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Illinois Medical District to get largest ambulance garage in Cook County
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Family Health Network Members Join CountyCare
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health to buy piece of struggling insurer's Medicaid biz
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Chief judge names acting public guardian for Cook County
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County sweetened beverage sales continue to decline
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

New bond court rules take effect, but not much of an effect
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Bond court gets underway in Cook County with different judges, new guidelines
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Harwood Heights adds retail theft as ordinance violation
Monday, September 18, 2017

Cook County’s Homeland Security interim chief resigns
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County's social worker for the dead helps the unclaimed find final resting places
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After legal challenges, Cook County's court for unwed parents quietly goes away
Monday, September 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Welcome to Cook County, Mayor Bloomberg. You're getting played on the soda tax.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Evans reshuffles bond court; meet the ‘Pretrial Division’
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: The Cook County Board's legacy: Killing Cook County jobs
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

If the soda tax were out of sight, would it be out of mind?
Friday, September 15, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board delays showdown over soda tax until October 10, and other Chicago news
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Chicago Reader

City reports record number of Chicagoans with health insurance
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Morning Spin: 10 key numbers in Cook County soda tax repeal debate
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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