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Assistant public defenders file lawsuit over masturbating jail inmates

Thursday, November 09, 2017
Chicago Sun-Times
by Andy Grimm

 

In an email, Dart’s policy chief, Cara Smith, said the sheriff would continue to try to address the “despicable behavior” by detainees. More than 200 detainees have been charged with indecent exposure since January, including 20 complaints filed by public defenders.

“We are hopeful the (Defender’s) office will work with us to find solutions to this problem, instead of impeding proposed solutions we put forth,” Smith said. “No woman or employee should have to endure sexual harassment in the workplace.”

Mirroring grumbling by some female staff at the busy criminal court building at 26th Street and California, the lawsuit also criticizes Campanelli for barring the sheriff’s officers from shackling all inmates during meetings with attorneys, and faults Dart’s August decision to pull back additional officers who staffed lockup areas. Finkle said Wednesday that the office could not support legislation that led to harsher penalties for public indecency, or measures that “subject detainees to inhumane practices.”

This story has been updated to include responses from the Office of the Public Defender



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