Cook County closing suburban bond courts on weekends

Board ok's plan leaving Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans to implement closures

April 17, 2012

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WBEZ/Robert Wildeboer
Commissioner Pete Silvestri (R-Chicago)

Cook County is moving forward with a plan to close weekend bond courts in the suburbs, a move that's expected to save $1.6 million dollars every year.  Instead of having the bond hearings at one of the suburban courthouses arrestees will be taken to the main criminal court building at 26th and California on Chicago's southwest side.

That could have created a problem for suburban police departments who would have had to drive arrestees all the way to the city, but the Cook County Sheriff has agreed to transfer the inmates from the suburbs.

"This is a win win for the county government, for the municipal governments and ultimately for the taxpayers because this is a good example of people working together to find a solution that meets everyone's needs," said Cook County Commissioner Pete Silvestri (R-Chicago).

Arrestees and their families though will likely have to drive further now, travelling from the suburbs and back but Sylvestri says it will affect a small number of people—about 80 arrestees per weekend.  Now that the board has signed off on the plan Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans can decide exactly when the courts will close.