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



Jail-stay statistics 'ridiculous, flawed': expert

Thursday, September 29, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

Cook County officials have been misled by "ridiculous," "skewed" and "flawed" statistics about how long inmates are staying in Cook County Jail, a criminal justice expert said Wednesday.

Though the John Howard Association reported the average length of stay is 180 days and many have pointed to that six-month stay in calling for radical jail reforms, a study shows the average stay is actually about 37 days.

That would put Cook County in line with the average stay in jails in New York and Los Angeles.

"Our jail is pretty much like every other jail," William Quinlan, chairman of the county's Judicial Advisory Council, said after reading the report prepared by American University Professor Joseph Trotter and his staff.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Cook County paid about $90,000 to commission the study, which analyzed whether slowed court processes are causing unusually long stays in the county jail.

While the study found areas to improve the flow in criminal courts, it found no unusual backlog of inmates waiting for a trial.

Trotter said statistics showing 180 days as a length of stay "just don't make sense," adding "Cook County is doing as well or better" than most jails on length of stay. He called the John Howard figures "ridiculous."

Jail conditions

But Charles Fasano, of the jail watchdog John Howard Association, stood by the 180-day figure, calling it an accurate "snapshot" the group took of the length of stay of inmates in jail on a random day.

He said that depending on the math, the 37-day stay could also be cited as accurate, though he also noted the 255 inmates who've sat more than three years, waiting for trial.

Trotter's report was given Wednesday to U.S. District Court Judge George Marovich, who called county officials in to determine whether they're complying with a federal order ensuring good conditions at the county jail.

While pleased to see Trotter's report, Marovich said he's more interested in a separate staffing needs study now in the works.

Officials said it will be ready in November, in time for the county to budget new jail positions.

Last year, county officials approved the hiring of 283 new jail guards to improve staff-to-inmate ratios, with a demand for hundreds more to come.

Trotter's report also showed the need for improvements in pushing inmates' criminal cases through the system -- something Quinlan said is on the way.

Though the courts are closing one file for every new one opened, Quinlan said cases will now be categorized to ensure their quick movement through the system.

"Lawyers control the [court] calendar here," Trotter said. "But they're no longer going to get passes on continuances just because the other side agrees to it."



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