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
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 Hospital fills more outpatient prescriptions every day than are filled at 26 Walgreen's drug store combined.
   
     
     
     



Sweeping deal to improve jail
Reforms to address decades of woes include hiring 600 more guards

Friday, May 14, 2010
Chicago Sun-Times
by Natasha Korecki

Federal and county authorities announced Thursday they've reached a sweeping deal to settle decades-old problems at Cook County Jail by hiring 600 more guards, overhauling medical and mental health care and hiring monitors who will report progress to a judge.

The deal comes after a federal inquiry into conditions at the jail exposed widespread trouble -- including inmates who attacked one another, unnecessary inmate deaths, unnecessary amputations, grossly inadequate medical and dental care as well as inmate beatings by prison guards.

The inquiry found that in 2008, three jail inmates committed suicide in the first four months of the year.

The jail, the largest single-site county jail in the nation, with an average daily population of more than 8,500 inmates, has long been the subject of federal lawsuits and complaints, many tied to understaffing.

Thursday's agreement is designed to settle a newly filed federal lawsuit personally signed by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The agreement comes after months of advance work between the U.S. attorney's office, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and other county officials.

"We have achieved a rigorous, comprehensive agreement that will remedy the unconstitutional conditions that were found at the Cook County Jail," said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. "Inmates are entitled to conditions of confinement that pass constitutional muster."

The "agreed order" still needs to be approved by a federal judge in Chicago.

Dart said that since he took his post in 2006, he's made it a priority to transform issues at the jail.

"My next goal is to build upon all that we've done so far at the jail so that after 18 months of compliance by my office, we will be able to publicly announce that decades of costly federal oversight at the Cook County Jail have finally come to an end," Dart said.

The order lays out provisions that jail staff must abide by. Four monitors have been appointed to keep tabs on whether the jail is in compliance. The monitors will file periodic reports to U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall, who can assess fines if she finds any violations.

Once the jail is fully compliant and stays that way for 18 months, it will no longer need oversight, according to the order.

Among the new provisions:

• Four different monitors will oversee issues involving the jail, mental health and medical services.

• 448 new correctional officers will be hired by the end of 2010 and another 174 by March 30, 2011. Last year, the sheriff estimated a new guard's salary at $45,000.

• The county-run Cermak Hospital must put in place procedures to make sure there is constitutionally adequate medical and mental health care, including suicide prevention.

• The county must increase overhead video and recording cameras in jail common areas.

• Investigations will be automatically conducted into suspicious inmate injuries to reduce beatings by jail staff.

• All injuries suffered by inmates and staff will be photographed.

• Supervision in housing areas will be increased.

Contributing: Rummana Hussain and Lisa Donovan



Recent Headlines

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials arenít sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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