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.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



A pattern of failure in Cook County probation

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Chicago Tribune
by OP Ed

The Cook County probation department has a record of failing to do things it is supposed to do, like keep track of offenders and take action when they get out of line. It turns out that the department also has a habit of doing things it isn't supposed to do — including conducting dubious searches and allegedly committing thefts.

It's all part of a pattern of failure that Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans needs to correct. On Wednesday, after new revelations in a Tribune story by reporters Cynthia Dizikes and Todd Lighty, Evans announced he was asking a local law firm to undertake a full investigation.

The Tribune investigation showed that the department has a practice of working with Chicago police and the FBI to conduct searches that go beyond the proper scope of its monitoring of some 24,000 probationers.

Probation officers have the authority to subject these offenders to surprise home searches without warrants, provided there is "reasonable suspicion" of wrongdoing. But their custom of bringing along other law enforcement agents is on questionable legal ground. In some instances, judges have ruled that the evidence obtained in these searches is not admissible in court.

"I took testimony that these guys are running around with guns and have taken no courses in being a law enforcement officer," Cook County Judge William Hooks told the Tribune. "The good news is, not all of them carry guns."

Besides possibly violating constitutional rights, the officers have been accused of more prosaic abuses. Two men whose homes were searched without their consent or a warrant said officers stole large sums of cash. In one case, officers used a crowbar to pry open a safe that a man refused to open. He was not on probation but was living in the same apartment as someone who was, and he is challenging his arrest.

A probationer who had compiled a solid five-year record as a factory worker lost his job after being arrested for possession of cocaine that he said was planted by cops — a claim that is not implausible in light of the fact that one of the officers who arrested him went to jail after being caught up in a scandal involving police lying and theft. The cocaine charge was later dropped.

Officers allegedly have pressured probationers to become informants, through favors or threats. "Although law enforcement agencies regularly groom informants, Cook County probation officers are not trained in cultivating and handling such sources," reported Dizikes and Lighty. "Department bosses do not want officers working to make probationers informants, fearing that probationers could be easily manipulated and compromised."

The American Probation and Parole Association cautions against such efforts. "It is contrary to our mission," said Executive Director Carl Wicklund. "Enforcement is part of that mission, but cultivating probationers to be on the edge of illegal activity, or encouraging them to be involved in or close to illegal activities, flies in the face of what we are supposed to be doing."

It's good that Evans acted promptly to look into these allegations. But it's clear the department suffers from a lack of professional supervision by him or anyone else. In March, he installed a new probation chief, Lavone Haywood, who agrees that his department needs clear policies on working with other law enforcement agencies.

If he and Evans are sincere about reform — and they should be — they have a lot of work to do



Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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