Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

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.
   
     
     
     



Sheriff closing 2 buildings at Cook County Jail as inmates decline
Move could save $15 million a year, ease staffing woes

Thursday, March 04, 2010
Chicago Tribune
by Matthew Walberg

With the number of inmates at Cook County Jail falling below 9,000, Sheriff Tom Dart said he has shuttered one building and will soon close another, saving up to an estimated $15 million a year and easing staffing woes.

Surrounded by rows of empty metal bunk beds in closed Division 2, Dart told reporters he believed this marked the first time ever that the sprawling West Side jail had been downsized. The closings lower the jail's capacity to about 9,100, down some 900 beds.

A construction binge took place in the early to mid-1990s after the jail population soared, forcing hundreds of inmates to sleep on mattresses on the floor and leading to a public-safety nightmare as many inmates won quick release on signature bonds to ease overcrowding.

Until recently, the complex near the Criminal Courts Building at 26th Street and California Avenue had been the nation's largest single-site jail for years. The number of inmates peaked at more than 11,000 in 2002 and has steadily declined since 2004 to about 8,600, Dart said. A jail in Texas is now bigger, he said.

The sheriff said a drop in arrests, particularly in Chicago, was the principal reason for the jail's population decline. Its annual intake plummeted 18.6 percent from 2004 through 2009, he said. Arrests by Chicago police account for about four-fifths of the jail's detainees.

Overcrowding has been an endemic problem at the jail for more than three decades, forcing a series of federal judges to keep a watchful eye over operations. Dart is under pressure to boost staffing after U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall ordered the county to hire an additional 210 corrections officers and fill nearly 300 vacant positions.

With the closings of the two buildings, Dart said about 175 correctional officers will be reassigned elsewhere in the jail, a move he hopes will satisfy part of the judge's order. Earlier this week, the County Board approved other hirings as well.

Dart said Division 2, a 55-year-old building that once served as a kitchen, will be converted into a cafeteria. Division 3, which was built in 1973, will be mothballed but kept ready to handle any uptick in population.

"We have no delusions that this is going to be the case forever, but we feel comfortable with what we're building into this, that we are going to be able to maintain this and to keep some of these divisions closed, some hopefully forever," he said.

mwalberg@tribune.com


Recent Headlines

Preckwinkle flip-flop on sales tax fails to satisfy Wall Street
Thursday, September 03, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

'Cook County ICU' on the Human Side of a Famous Hospital
Thursday, September 03, 2015
WTTW Channel 11 Chicago Tonight

S&P Puts Cook County, Ill. On Negative Outlook
Thursday, September 03, 2015
The Bond Buyer

County forest preserves celebrating 100 years
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
The Beverly Review

2 former Cook County Jail inmates become tutors at Literacy Chicago
Monday, August 31, 2015
Chicago Tribune

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 sheriffís 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

all news items

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