Cook County to pay for repeated jail lockdowns

April 4, 2012

Associated Press

Cook County has agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by female jail inmates who claimed their rights were violated when the institution was repeatedly locked down.

The four inmates alleged the extended weekend lockdowns in 2003 and earlier occurred while guards conducted security checks. The inmates alleged the guards failed to respond promptly to requests for help during the lockdowns, shirking the jail's duty "to protect inmates from harm from other inmates.

Officials say they've stopped the non-emergency lockdowns

Two inmates won judgments in federal court totaling $153,000, while the county agreed to pay two others $5,000 each to put an end to the lawsuit. The county will pay attorneys for the plaintiffs $850,000 to cover fees and costs incurred over nine years.