Many of you already know this Chicago Criminal Attorney is a huge supporter of Electronic Home Monitoring (just ask any prosecutor who knows me) in large part because she hates to see tax dollars wasted. Sheriff Tom Dart has gone a long ways to decreasing funds used by taxpayers to house those in the jail. Today's big news is of a settlement in the Constitutionality of treatment of prisoners at Cook County Jail.
Four outside monitors are to be hired to make regular inspections of Cook County Jail and report back to a judge under an agreement announced today stemming from a federal probe of conditions at the jail.
The agreement also calls for the hiring of more than 600 additional correctional officers over the next year -- something the Cook County board already agreed to do in March to settle the federal probe.
In addition, it calls for stepped-up inspections for contraband and more video surveillance of inmate housing areas.
Compliance will be overseen by four "mutually selected, independent monitors . . . who will exercise broad duties, respectively, over corrections, medical care, mental health care, and the physical plant," the office added.
The monitors must issue status reports to the federal court every six months.
The agreement stems a 2008 Justice Department report that concluded a culture existed at Cook County Jail that led to systematic inmate beatings and medical care was so poor that some inmates had died.This is a good day not only for taxpayers but also for those that are housed in Cook County jail. Many of them are not serving sentences but are too poor to post bail while charges are pending against them.