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
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



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

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Sunday, November 13, 2918
Chicago Sun-Times

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018
Patch

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
ABC 7

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

HOPE Court, created to keep probationers out of prison, shut down amid problems
Friday, October 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Can Kaegi really reform the assessor's office?
Friday, October 26, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

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