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.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



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

Cook County board to vote on new budget today
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WGN Channel 9

Preckwinkle agrees to fewer Cook County job cuts; hundreds of layoffs still in works
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Teamsters Local 700 Files for Temporary Restraining Order Against Cook County Merit Board
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Special to suffredin.org

How Cook County finally got a new budget
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

ONTIVEROS: I think I miss that soda pop tax
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Budget Cuts Expected For Cook County Public Guardian’s Office
Monday, November 20, 2017
CBS Chicago

Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's running again
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

More than 300 Cook County employees will lose jobs to balance budget
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Jail Population Down 15 Percent After Bond Reforms
Monday, November 20, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Stroger vs. Preckwinkle: Hide your wallets.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

After momentous week, prosecutor Kim Foxx says 'we have to right wrongs'
Monday, November 20, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Police union president slams Foxx, prosecutors after exonerations
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

MIHALOPOULOS: Will pop-tax anger unseat Preckwinkle, or fizzle out?
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

After Warning of 'Painful Cuts,' Preckwinkle to Unveil 2018 Budget Amendment
Friday, November 17, 2017
NBC Chicago

Watchdog: Quit stalling on Cook County justice system data
Friday, November 17, 2017
Crain's Chicago Business

The Week in Review: Record Wave of Exonerations Tied to Rogue Cop
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Preckwinkle, some commissioners say enough votes for amended budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times

Preckwinkle: Nothing Pleasant About Hundreds Of Layoffs
Friday, November 17, 2017
CBS Chicago

Cook County commissioners get behind Preckwinkle's budget cuts
Friday, November 17, 2017
Chicago Tribune

Chuy Garcia Sole Cook County Commissioner Iffy on Budget
Friday, November 17, 2017
WTTW Chicago Tonight

all news items

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