Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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.

   
  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.
   
     
     
     



Sheriff's department plans to appeal strip-search ruling

Friday, August 14, 2009
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
by Pat Milhizer

The Cook County sheriff's department plans to appeal a jury's finding that its jail officers subjected inmates to cruel, unreasonable and discriminatory strip searches over a two-year period.

The verdict comes just six months after a federal judge said that the unconstitutional practice dates back to the beginning of 2004.

"Strip searches are a common practice at every jail and prison in the U.S. and because of that and federal appellate rulings we've seen, we believe this case is ripe for appeal," department spokesman Steve Patterson said in a statement.

"Based upon testimony and facts in the case, we believe the jail's correctional officers and staff acted appropriately and did not violate anyone's constitutional rights in conducting searches for weapons or contraband before placing them into jail custody," Patterson said.

On Thursday, a jury found the department guilty of misconduct based on accusations in a class-action suit that employees used sexually degrading language and inappropriately touched the genitals of male arrestees during the searches. The department was accused of conducting searches in open hallways that had vomit and feces on the floors.

In addition, the lawsuit alleged that some arrestees were beaten.

Attorneys representing the class say that they will seek a trial to determine damages for about 500,000 illegal strip searches conducted at the jail over two years.

The jury's ruling follows U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly's decision in February of this year to grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs on claims that inmates were needlessly humiliated during searches that occurred from January 2004 to February 2007, the plaintiffs' attorneys said. Thursday's jury decision considered allegations that the unconstitutional searches continued from February 2007 to March 2009.

In response to the verdict, the sheriff's department said that Sheriff Thomas J. Dart installed body-scanning machines in the jail in August 2007, which started an initiative to eliminate strip searches. After the County Board approved funding for more machines, the entire jail complex began using them in March.

Now the department only conducts strip searches when an officer has "significant probable cause" to believe that an arrestee has contraband or a weapon, Patterson said.

"Of course," Patterson said, "the elimination of strip searching at the jail hasn't been without its problems, as earlier this year a Chicago man was able to smuggle a gun into the complex. That's why we remain confident in our practices and in our plans for appeal."

The class was represented by Michael Kanovitz, Roshna B. Keen and Samantha A. Liskow of Loevy & Loevy. They were assisted by attorneys Cindy Tsai and Julie M. Thompson.

The sheriff's department was represented by Assistant State's Attorney Francis J. Catania; and Daniel F. Gallagher, Larry S. Kowalczyk and Dominick L. Lanzito of Querrey & Harrow Ltd.

Kim Young, et al. v. County of Cook, et al., No. 06 C552.

pmilhizer@lbpc.com


Recent Headlines

While detainees sit, Cook County bail reform drags on
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Morning Spin: Dorothy Brown contract stalls amid accusations of 'potential half-truths'
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Chicago Tribune

South Austin man charged in shooting near Cook County courthouse
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Man wounded in hail of gunfire outside Cook County courthouse
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Des Plaines Mayor Says Compost Proposal On Dump Site Will Be Delayed
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Journal Online

Man wounded in hail of gunfire outside Cook County courthouse
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Ensuring Earlier Access to Attorneys for Arrestees in Chicago
Monday, March 20, 2017
wttw Chicago Tonight

Officials: Glencoe, Forest Preserve District close to finalizing golf club land use agreement
Friday, March 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

The mysterious case of Philippe Loizon and $200,000 charged to Cook County taxpayers
Friday, March 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

6 Ways the Republicansí Proposed Health Care Bill Could Impact Cook County
Friday, March 17, 2017
Chicago Magazine

Cook County Board Lobbying Activity Dropped In 2016
Thursday, March 16, 2017
The Daily Line

River Forest opts out of Cook County minimum wage, sick leave rules
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Clerk Orr: Sugary drink tax, ridesharing tax ordinance were focus of Cook County lobbying activity in 2016
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Board Lobbying Activity Dropped In 2016
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Daily Line

Kim Foxx planning to revamp Cook County wrongful-conviction unit
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Sheriff dropped from lawsuit challenging bail; focus now on Cook County judges
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Injustice Watch

Cook County Pushing To Make It Easier To Expunge Juvenile Records
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
WBEZ

Making it easier to get juvenile arrest records expunged
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Daily Northwestern

Cook County Jail Is Being Dropped From Lawsuit Against Jail
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
US News and World Report

Still radical at 75, Bernardine Dohrn says turn Cook County Jail into park
Monday, March 13, 2017
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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