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

The Watchdogs: Ruling on Sheriff Tom Dart’s Merit Board could put firings in doubt
Monday, February 23, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

Electronic monitoring spikes in Cook County
Monday, February 23, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Dart: Rauner budget cuts “alarming,” lack “financial sense”
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Capitol Fax

Cunningham out as public defender
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Inmate killed in Cook County Jail shouldn't have been locked up there
Monday, February 16, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Cook County corrections officer charged
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Daily Herald

Forest Preserve District of Cook County celebrates centennial
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Daily Herald

Two more Cook County measles cases bring Illinois total to 13
Friday, February 13, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

CTA to test late-night Purple Line Express train
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Chicago Red Eye

Cook County OKs ordinance to combat wage theft
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Chicago Tribune

FOREST PRESERVES HOLDS 100TH ANNIVERSARY BOARD MEETING
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

Could concealed carry come to Cook County Forest Preserves?
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Daily Herald

Keep guns out of Cook County forest preserves
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Chicago Sun-Times

Stomach Virus Outbreak Prompts Quarantine At Cook County Jail
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
CBS Local

Forest Preserve of Cook County to host Darwin Celebration Days
Sunday, February 08, 2015
ABC 7

State confirms 6 cases of measles in Cook County
Saturday, February 07, 2015
Chicago Tribune

How Chase slips a solicitation into your Cook County property tax bill
Friday, February 06, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

Chief Judge Evans selects superintendent for juvenile detention center
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Special to suffredin.org

In Illinois, concealed carry of guns has quiet first year; expansion sought
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle shuffles economic devlopment team
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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