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.
   
     
     
     



Jail horrors are a moral crime

Friday, July 18, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail is a bleeding mess. That's the only conclusion you can arrive at after reading a 98-page report from the U.S. Justice Department on conditions at the facility, the largest county jail in the country.

Before getting into the meat of the findings, understand one critical fact:

The report, released Thursday by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, does not call for the county to turn the jail into a Ritz-Carlton. It does not recommend fluffy towels or a mint under each prisoner's pillow. It does not even call for conditions equivalent to a Motel 6.

The report simply says that prisoners should be housed in a safe and clean environment with a decent place to sleep and adequate medical care.

Nothing radical.

But even at these basic tasks, the county is failing.

Prisoners shouldn't get beaten bloody for mouthing off to a guard.

But that has happened time and again, according to the report, in what amounts to a culture of guards beating prisoners.

One man, arrested for driving on a suspended driver's license, got into an argument with an officer at the jail and found his head being used as a "bongo drum."

Another prisoner's jaw was broken after he was accused of planting contraband, according to the report.

Worse still, prisoners reported that guards threatened them with worse treatment if they reported the violence.

Health care at the jail hospital, run by the Cook County Health Bureau, also leaves much to be desired.

One prisoner's leg had to be amputated after staffers took too long to treat an infection.

Another inmate died from sepsis because a gunshot wound became infected after he came into the jail.

A female prisoner with HIV died from a preventable infection.

For all these problems, let's be honest: Few taxpayers like seeing their tax dollars spent on improving jail conditions.

It's easier to build jails, throw people inside, slam the door and forget about it.

It's easier to fall prey to our baser natures, to figure that most of the folks in County Jail are probably guilty of something anyway, so to heck with them.

But, as a civilized society, we are judged on how we treat our most powerless, least desirable citizens.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart understands that improvements need to be made at the jail.

He inherited much of the mess when he took office in December 2006 and has taken several smart steps to increase prison guard accountability and reduce inmate violence and overcrowding.

But to make real changes, he'll need the backing of Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and the county commissioners.

The County Board can decide to spend the money and make the necessary changes as outlined in detail by the U.S. Justice Department.

Or the board can ignore the problem, and the feds can take the county to court.

The county could spend a ton of money on attorneys to fight the case, only to lose and be forced to make the changes anyway.

We know which option makes more sense to us.



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