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

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  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.
   
     
     
     



Dart closes parts of Cook County Jail

Thursday, March 04, 2010
Daily Herald
by Ted Cox

Capacity at the Cook County jail will be cut to 9,100 beds from 10,000, in a cutback expected to save up to $15 million a year.

Sheriff Tom Dart on Thursday announced the first significant cutbacks in decades at the jail, thanks largely to a reduction in crime.

One 600-bed building has already been closed, and another 300-bed building will be closed in April, Dart said. That will cut capacity to 9,100 and will likely mean Cook County jail will no longer be the largest single-site jail in the nation, the sheriff's office said.

"At a time when every government agency is looking for ways to cut costs and save taxpayer dollars, it makes no sense to keep half-empty buildings operating at full capacity," Dart said in a news conference at the once-notorious jail at 26th Street and California in Chicago.

He said this also lays a foundation to save more tax dollars in the future.

Charles Fasano, who recently left his position as director of the prisons and jails program at the John Howard Association of Illinois, a watchdog agency, said he was "delighted" by the announcement. "We've been recommending that for several years," he said.

Fasano praised Dart's work, but added, "He's been blessed that admission numbers are down."

The average daily population at Cook County jail peaked at 11,082 in 2002, when inmates were sleeping on the floors and the sheriff's office was straining under the decades-old Duran Decree on conditions at the jail. Yet, while 106,000 people were processed at the jail in 2004, last year that number dropped to 86,000, and the average daily population was 9,039.

Dart said the average daily population was 8,400 in February and stood at 8,600 as he made the announcement. That led him and jail director Tony Godinez to come up with an "under capacity" plan, a counterpart to the previous "over capacity" plan.

The division closings will allow 175 corrections employees to move to other posts and reduce overtime, Dart said. That could save $10.5 million in salaries and benefits and $2 million in overtime. Along with savings in utilities and maintenance costs and food, Dart said the cost reduction could approach $15 million a year.

He cautioned it was contingent on the jail population remaining low with no spikes in crime. He first mentioned the possibility of closing down divisions during the recent primary campaign, when he added that they could potentially be reopened in four or five days if needed.

According to the sheriff's office, Chicago has reported decreases in violent crime, property crime and crime overall in recent years, a trend general across the nation, despite the tough economy.



Recent Headlines

Former Stroger aide gets 6 1/2 years for theft, money laundering
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Transit shake-up not on fast track, key lawmaker says
Monday, April 21, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle names new Cook County CIO
Monday, April 21, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle taps McHenry tech company boss as county's CIO
Monday, April 21, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Help arriving for jailed mentally ill
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Free floating ethics in Cook County
Friday, April 18, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Sheriff pushes probes of policing woes in suburbs
Friday, April 18, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Cook County loses billions in tax dollars to collar counties
Friday, April 18, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Recorder blasted for hiring; says ethics law doesn't apply to her
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Friends and family hiring plan
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Chicago Tribune

Earth Day Approaching, President Preckwinkle Highlights Cook County’s Sustainability Accomplishments and Programs
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Two former Board of Review employees get prison time
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

County announces 2013 No Cash Bid Program results
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Orr: TIF reform worth $44M annually at no cost to taxpayers
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Special to suffredin.org

Property tax relief granted because of O'Hare noise
Monday, April 14, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

What is Cook County Health's interim thinking?
Monday, April 14, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

New Metra policy will log all calls intended to influence hiring
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times

Metra moves to clean up its mess, but lots more needed
Friday, April 11, 2014
Crain's Chicago Business

That scandal at Metra? Nothing to it
Friday, April 11, 2014
Chicago Tribune

President Preckwinkle plans pension cuts
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Chicago Tribune

all news items

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