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:  
   
 
 

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



Illinois Supreme Court wants new boss for troubled Circuit Court of Cook County Department

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Chicago Sun-Times
by Michael Sneed

 

In an unprecedented move, the Illinois Supreme Court is appointing an administrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County to overhaul the pre-trial services and adult probation department, citing a “gradual erosion of a management and leadership structure.”

The judicial shake-up is the result of an Illinois Supreme Court audit concentrating on the court probation department’s pretrial services, a unit that helps judges decide which defendants are kept in jail or released to the community while their cases are adjudicated.

“It’s historic,” said a top Sneed source familiar with the state court’s audit, which lists 40 recommendations to clean up the county courts’ probation mess.

“Never before in the history of the Cook County Circuit Court has a monitor been appointed to overhaul a segment of the court,” said the source..

Recent criticism of the Circuit Court focused on the stewardship of adult probation chief Jesus Reyes, who was forced to step down only recently by Chief Judge Timothy Evans— despite complaints about Reyes for the past few years.

The audit, which began in 2013, was based on reports of how the troubled probation and pre-trial services department was run under the leadership of Reyes, who was appointed acting probation chief in 2005 by Evans.

Although Evans dumped Reyes shortly before the critical audit surfaced, he has kept Reyes in the court system as an advisor of “research and policy.”

Evans told Sneed Friday: “I want to thank the Supreme Court for what they have done.”

But he declined to talk about Reyes.

In a press release dispatched Friday by Evans’ office, he “welcomes the participation of the Supreme Court as well as other Cook County stakeholders in completing the process of establishing a pre-eminent pretrial services department that he began years ago.”

“Despite the limited resources available, Judge Evans is dedicated to improving the pretrial services program,” stated the release. “Until adequate resources are committed to a pretrial services program, the program will always be imperfect.”

The Illinois Supreme Court action has no bearing on Evans’ role as chief judge, although it does diminish his power by essentially commandeering a major court department.

“Judge Evans, who is an elected official, will work with the court-appointed administrator, but he would not have the ability to refuse the recommendations,” said a source familiar with the audit.

As recently as this week, Evans, who is elected to a three-year term as chief judge by the judges of the circuit court, sent a memo to the entire staff trying to reassure his electorate.

The 64-page audit report states: “There has been a gradual erosion of a management and leadership structure dedicated to the Pretrial Services Program.”

It also concludes: “There is a general lack of understanding of the pretrial services function by stakeholders and Probation Department staff.”

The report listed six central issues upon which to focus:

Technology must be improved to share information between the Cook County Sheriff, Pretrial Services, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office and Circuit Court Clerk.

The Pretrial Services department – which helps judges decide which defendants should be released and which held in jail while awaiting trial — is widely misunderstood and undervalued.

Leadership within the Pretrial Services Program is required to oversee both pretrial and probation and don’t have time to create a better system.

There is limited training for lawyers, judges and employees within the court system.

Bond and release conditions for inmates vary greatly between judges, and criteria for electronic monitoring are not clear

There is no comprehensive way — through all parts of the court system — to collect data on the outcome of bond court and pretrial decisions.

In a statement, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who was among the most vocal critics of the court system, said she was “grateful” for the audit.

“I’ve consistently expressed concerns about the management of this department and look forward to working with the court and the new monitor to address their recommendations. This is about more than just a lack of leadership, it is about the men and women who suffer when the system is allowed to fail,” Preckwinkle said.

 



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