Tentative Deal in Lawsuit over Youth Detention Center

April 19, 2006

Cook County and the American Civil Liberties Union have reached a tentative deal in a lawsuit over conditions at the county's juvenile detention center. The ACLU has alleged that children and sometimes staffers abused youth housed at the jail.

James Whigham, chief of staff to Cook County Board President John Stroger, says, "I think anytime you have a situation where people fundamentally recognize their deficiencies, rather than trying to cover them up or hide them and say, 'We want to get better.' I think that when you can avoid litigation, when you can put the kids first, that's a win-win situation."

Whigham says the deal will contain a plan of action with specific dates and benchmarks for future improvements.

Ben Wolf with the ACLU confirms a deal is close and is hopeful the deal will be finalized before the case's next day in court on May 3.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation also is looking into allegations of abuse at the detention center.