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.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



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

Crain’s: Cook County Union Lauds Preckwinkle for New Contract
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Crabtree Nature Center to Host Art in Nature Celebration
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

Amid soda-tax war, Teamsters thank Preckwinkle for a good new deal
Monday, August 21, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Editorial: A chance for a do-over on Cook County's soda tax
Friday, August 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Bloomberg funds $2 million in ads backing Preckwinkle pop tax
Friday, August 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Reaction to the soda tax is overblown
Friday, August 18, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Drinking soda pop will one day be like smoking on an airplane
Friday, August 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County: Soda tax no longer runs afoul of food stamp rules
Friday, August 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Man shot near Cook County Jail, driven to courthouse for help
Friday, August 18, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Two more soda tax lawsuits filed as county says food-stamp issue fixed
Friday, August 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

SNEED: Bloomberg throws support behind embattled Cook County soda tax
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Evanston violated Open Meetings Act with June council session on minimum wage, attorney general says
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County retailers report beverage sales decline
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle taps new CFO for Cook County
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Man charged with dumping loaded gun into trash can at Cook County Jail
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County: Soda tax no longer runs afoul of food stamp rules
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Poll shows trouble for Preckwinkle amid pop tax furor
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Why the soda pop tax is essential: Preckwinkle
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County seeks partners for economic development projects
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail Expands Family Planning, Birth Control Services
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

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