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

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  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 was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



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

Did Cook County Animal Control investigation go deep enough?
Friday, August 28, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Dart to Rauner: Pay to train cops to deal with mentally ill
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

Rauner signs 'Rocket Docket' law to reduce some jail stays
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

New law limits bail profits Cook County can take from poor
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
WBEZ

Rauner Signs Bills That Impact the Black Community
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Chicago Defender

Panel: County gambling machine tax is fair game
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Judge denies injunction to Backpage.com in legal victory for Dart
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Rauner signs "Rocket Docket" law to reduce some jail stays
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Federal judge says Backpage.com is full of prostitution ads
Monday, August 24, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

Appellate court upholds Preckwinkle's slot machine tax
Monday, August 24, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County rethinks strategy as Obamacare pushes outpatient care
Monday, August 24, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

Judge nixes release of sheriff’s deposition video
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: Sheriff Dart should hand his fight against sex trade to the feds now
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: A plea for help in Harvey
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune

County audit: Missing pets rarely reunited in animal services 'maze'
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Cog Hill, Gleneagles at center of land dispute
Friday, August 21, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Commissioner Robert Steele, Cook County Commission on Women and YWCA host a panel on wage discrimination
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Northbrook official: New Red Seal plans abandon easements
Monday, August 17, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Northbrook firm seeks second tax break for expansion
Friday, August 14, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Judge releases million-dollar inmate to secure mental health facility
Friday, August 14, 2015
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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