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 Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



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

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials arenít sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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