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:  
   
 
 

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 was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Gregory Pratt

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million

Cook County commissioners voted to pay nearly $5.3 million to settle a 2009 federal lawsuit alleging that the county violated inmates’ rights when it sharply cut back on dental health care at the jail.

Attorney Kenneth Flaxman said the problems identified in his lawsuit started when the county, in the midst of a financial crisis in 2007, decided to solve its problems by cutting back on inmate health care. A medical official at the jail decided the county didn’t need to provide dental service and got rid of most of the dentists, meaning some had to wait nine months to see a dentist if they had toothaches.

“That was just a really horrible decision, horrible belief, that the doctors were making legal judgments and they weren’t being checked to tell them that isn’t what the Constitution requires,” Flaxman said.

Commissioners voted to pay out $5,263,000 to end the yearslong lawsuit. About 20,000 people have filed claims and are eligible to receive up to $3,000, Flaxman said, though the vast majority will get far less.

The Cook County Health and Hospitals System provides health care at the jail. Caryn Stancik, the hospitals’ spokeswoman, said the current leadership team has “made the provision of physical health, dental and mental health services an absolute priority over the past several years.”

“Our efforts were recognized this past June when the federal court dissolved the 2010 consent decree between the U.S. Department of Justice and Cermak Correctional Health Services,” Stancik said, referring to the jail, which had been under federal supervision.

READ MORE: Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle noncommittal whether she'll run for Chicago mayor »

The sheriff’s office does not control the provision of mental health, medical, or dental services to detainees in the jail, a spokeswoman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin, an Evanston Democrat, said the government’s theory was that “dental” wasn’t part of health care back then.

“I think we now understand that dental is essential to health care and mental health wasn’t really part of our health care,” Suffredin said. “I think now we’re doing it.”

In other news:

* The board passed a bill introduced by Suffredin that would prevent the county from detaining anyone at the juvenile detention center who is under 13.

Suffredin’s measure won’t affect many kids, as in 2017 and 2018 the county did not hold any 10- or 11-year olds in custody and in 2017 only took in nine 12-year olds. But, Suffredin said, it could lead to long-term thinking.

“We need more people to think about younger kids who are kind of lost in the system,” Suffredin said.

*Republican commissioners Timothy Schneider, Sean Morrison, and Gregg Goslinjoined with Democrat Richard Boykin to introduce an ordinance requiring a two-thirds supermajority vote for any new tax or tax increase. That was sent to a committee and is unlikely to pass. Schneider, Morrison and Goslin are facing tough re-election fights in November against Democrat challengers.

gpratt@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @royalpratt



Recent Headlines

Special prosecutor billed Cook County nearly 50K for Van Dyke murder case
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board votes in favor of $4 million settlement in Stroger medical malpractice case
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Judge bucks Cook County law, says boys as young as 10 can be locked up
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Village of Northbrook Opts Back In to the Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinance
Monday, October 15, 2018
National Law Review

Chicago health system to add 240+ jobs
Monday, October 15, 2018
Becker's Hospital Review

Fired doctor sues county, loses whistleblower claim
Friday, October 12, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County health system to add jobs
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

No layoffs or tax hike in mayoral hopeful Preckwinkle’s proposed county budget
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

'Inclusionary' housing ordinance rewrite advances
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Evanston Now

Faced with tight budgets, more Illinois counties merge clerk, recorder offices
Monday, October 08, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Class action: Hundreds of Cook Sheriff officer suspensions invalid, because State's Attorney not involved
Friday, October 05, 2018
Cook County Record

One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Game of thrones? Watchdog sees ‘scheme to defraud’ in Pritzker toilet tax break
Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County Board approves $31M election equipment contract despite lawsuit; $11M to settle 2 malpractice lawsuits
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County approves new election equipment contract, despite rival firm’s lawsuit
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Top prosecutor Kim Foxx apologizes as 18 convictions linked to corrupt cop vacated
Monday, September 24, 2018
Chicago Tribune

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

all news items

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