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
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.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Feds announce deal to improve Cook County Jail conditions
Agreement may end consent decree in 1974 inmate lawsuit

Friday, May 14, 2010
Chicago Tribune
by Matthew Walberg and Hal Dardick

Federal authorities announced a formal agreement Thursday with Cook County officials to improve conditions at the county jail, including hiring hundreds of corrections officers and bringing in independent monitors with broad powers.

Among the highlights of the agreement are measures to properly investigate allegations by inmates of excessive force by staff and to provide improved medical and mental health care, the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago said in announcing the agreement.

The agreement is the result of months of negotiations among the county, the sheriff's department and the federal government following a blistering report by the Department of Justice in 2008 that castigated the sheriff and the county for squalid and unsafe conditions at what was once the largest single-site jail in the nation.

A succession of federal judges have kept a watch over the West Side jail since 1974 when inmates filed a class-action lawsuit — which led to what is known as the Duran consent decree — because of overcrowding and other problems. The jail currently houses about 9,000 inmates a day.

Thursday's agreement needs the approval of a federal judge and gives the county up to four years to comply with its provisions.

It calls for the sheriff to hire more than 600 corrections officers by March. The County Board approved that plan two months ago. The agreement also calls on the sheriff to improve measures to identify excessive use of force by staff.

Cermak Hospital must build a clinic to treat prisoners and beef up physical and psychiatric care for inmates, while the county's Department of Facilities Management will be responsible for increased safety and cleanliness of the jail.

Four court-appointed monitors will have authority over corrections, medical and mental health care as well as the physical plant, and issue status reports to the court every six months.

Lawyers involved in the Duran lawsuit said Thursday's agreement, which included the filing of another federal lawsuit, could soon result in the end of that nearly 36-year court fight.

The sheriff's office has long complained that the Duran decree held it accountable for things beyond its control, including budgetary matters under the County Board's purview and health care, the responsibility of the county Health and Hospitals System. The sheriff also contends many of the requirements in the new agreement have already been addressed or are in the process of being implemented.

"We welcome an agreement that allows us to dissolve the costly, 35-year-old Duran consent decree and which properly recognizes the sheriff can only be responsible for corrections issues, laying responsibility for medical care and maintenance at the feet of the (Health and Hospitals System) and the board president, respectively," Sheriff Tom Dart said in a statement Thursday.

mwalberg@tribune.com

hdardick@tribune.com



Recent Headlines

Randy Blaser: Cook County Board's cash grab – governance or performance art?
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Chicago Tribune

'Empire' Is Being Sued By Ex-Cook County Juvenile Detention Center Residents
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Chicagoist

Formerly Jailed Juveniles Suing Cook County, 20th Century Fox
Thursday, August 25, 2016
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

DOJ’s new stance on bail bonds won’t help poor inmates in Cook County Jail
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Chicago Reader

Cook County has become an 80s movie villain in its attempt to tax small music venues to death
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Editorial: Hey Mr. DJ, are you really an artist?
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO TONIGHT: Voters to decide on downsizing Cook County government
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Voters to Decide on Downsizing Cook County Government
Monday, August 22, 2016
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Commentary: In defense of Judge Turner (sort of)
Monday, August 22, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Cook County seeks $400K in amusement taxes from Evil Olive, Beauty Bar
Monday, August 22, 2016
Chicago Tribune

President Preckwinkle applauds signing of juvenile justice bill
Monday, August 22, 2016
Windy City Times

Lester: Illinois Supreme Court justice goes undercover in bond court
Monday, August 22, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: Judge not: Voters, this isn't the way to fill a $188,000-a-year job
Monday, August 22, 2016
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Questions Whether Electronic Music Is Really Live Music Or Cultural
Friday, August 19, 2016
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

First Human Case of West Nile Virus in Cook County
Friday, August 19, 2016
Patch Local

New Trier rowers' success a reflection on cleaner waters
Friday, August 19, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

Led by Chicago, Cook County property values continue recovery
Friday, August 19, 2016
Crain's Chicago Business

First human case of West Nile virus in suburban Cook County
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County goes after small venues for back taxes, arguing their bookings don't count as live music or culture
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Chicago Reader

Evanston Township Dissolution Saves Taxpayers Nearly $780,000
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Civic Federation Blog

all news items

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