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:  
   
 
 

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.

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



Juvenile detention center population keeps falling
But reform work not finished, officials say

Monday, August 20, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by Hal Dardick

Cook County has been able to reduce the number of teens locked up in its juvenile detention center, but there's still much to be done before the mission to reform the long-troubled facility is complete, officials said Monday.

Nearly 270 minors who otherwise faced detention for alleged crimes were instead placed in community- and faith-based programs in the past three months, Chief Judge Timothy Evans said. The diversion programs helped the youths with studies, work skills, substance-abuse and mental health issues that led to their trouble in the first place.

"We can address those needs with the children instead of just lock them up and release them at some future date," Evans said in a telephone interview. He praised Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for helping to secure $800,000 to pay for the effort and added that it costs far less than the $616 a day to lock up a youth.

As a result of the new programs, there are on average fewer than 250 youths a day at the juvenile detention center, down about 50 from a year earlier, Preckwinkle said Monday.

That's also down from the peak of 800 a day in the early 2000s and less than the 450 a day five years ago, when a federal court judge appointed national expert Earl Dunlap to take over the center. The goal was to fix its myriad woes, including a history of overcrowding, filthy conditions and abuse of the children it was supposed to help.

On Monday, Preckwinkle spoke to 19 teenagers held at the Near West Side facility. She told them that last December, she concluded that the best long-term solution is to shutter the aging center and set up four to six smaller facilities throughout the county.

"I think that the research has shown that it's better for the young people to be in smaller facilities that are closer to the communities in which they live," Preckwinkle said afterward.

"The less like a prison you can make the detention for the young people, the better off they are," she added. "You don't want the Juvenile Temporary Center to be a pipeline to the Department of Corrections."

Dunlap said Monday that the decades-old facility "is a monstrosity" that is poorly designed for its use and lacks needed technology. Three better-designed regional facilities would be smarter and cost less to run, he said.

Dunlap also said the county needs better ways to treat mentally ill youths, many of whom end up at the center but would be better served elsewhere. That, in turn, would further lower the center's population, he said.

Benjamin Wolf, associate legal director of the ACLU of Illinois, which filed the federal suit that led to Dunlap's appointment, also praised efforts to lower the population but cautioned that "there's more to be done."

Both Evans and Preckwinkle agreed that more could be done to lower the number of teens at the detention center.

News of the latest drop in the center's population comes as Dunlap, its transitional administrator, is preparing to end his oversight period, most likely near the end of winter. When he departs, Evans will take control of the center, with the County Board holding the purse strings.

Preckwinkle and Commissioner Bridget Gainer, D-Chicago, meanwhile, have proposed setting up an advisory board to keep a spotlight on the needs of children at the center after the departure of Dunlap, their constant champion for the last five years.

Dunlap, noting the crucial role that courts, police and communities play in determining the fate of alleged juvenile offenders, said any such board should focus on the entire juvenile justice system, not just the center.

Preckwinkle agreed. "We need their help not just on this facility, but what we are going to do over the long term," she said.




Recent Headlines

Re: Property Taxes IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

What's at stake in latest census numbers
Monday, April 22, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Legislation aims to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable
Monday, April 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Time is running out for an affordable housing fix
Friday, April 19, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessorís Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Women Prisoners in Cook County Jail Curate Global Film Festival
Thursday, April 18, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZís Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Vote for your favorite presidential candidate. The Illinois Democratic County Chairís Association wants to know who you want to be the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President. Vote here.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

all news items

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