Cook County Searches for Jail Guard Funding

January 19, 2006

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The Clerk of the Circuit Court in Cook County is defending her budget projections.

Cook County Commissioners say the clerk's office consistently takes in million of dollars more per year in case filing fees than are projected in the budget.

That extra money could be used to hire additional guards at the Cook County Jail.

Dorothy Brown, the Circuit Court Clerk, says commissioners shouldn't count on a surplus, like the $5 million last year, because there was a deficit the previous year.

""There's a fluctuation there, and you really can't gamble on fluctuations,"" Brown says. ""We need a little bit more history.""

Brown says she'll review the books and see if this year's projections are too low.

The commissioners also want the treasurer to increase her projected revenues.

The money is needed because a federal judge has ordered the county to hire 250 more correctional officers.

The judge's mandate came after a report that showed unsafe conditions at the county jail.

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