WBEZ | sheriff http://www.wbez.org/tags/sheriff Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Video conference court hearings for inmates at Cook County Jail? http://www.wbez.org/story/video-conference-court-hearings-inmates-cook-county-jail <p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he wants to stop transporting inmates from the Cook County Jail to their hearings in suburban court rooms. Instead, he said they can attend through video conferencing which could save the county a lot of money.&nbsp;</p><p>Dart spent five years as an assistant state's attorney, and during that time he learned that many of the court hearings are pretty insignificant. &quot;The defendant comes out of the back room, stands in front of the judge, does not utter a syllable. His attorney hands the prosecutor a document. The state's attorney hands the defense attorney a document, and the individual goes back to the lock up and off they go. And that's 80 percent of the cases, and that's just a monumental waste, there is no point of conflict, no issues being discussed, nothing,&quot;&nbsp;said Dart.<br /> <br /> Dart said he's been pushing video conferenced status hearings as a way to save money for the last couple years, but the idea has some added weight now because last week the incoming county board president Toni Preckwinkle told each elected county official that they're going to have to cut their budgets by 21%.</p></p> Mon, 22 Nov 2010 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/video-conference-court-hearings-inmates-cook-county-jail Cook County to pay $55 million to inmates at county jail http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-pay-55-million-jail-inmates <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Dart.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Cook County is paying out $55 million to people who were strip searched while being processed into the county jail.&nbsp;</p><p>The settlement follows a trial from the summer of 2009 in which a jury found that the Cook County Sheriff's department violated the rights of thousands of prisoners admitted to the jail. The department had a practice of strip searching all incoming inmates, and those searches took place in an open hallway, filled with men standing naked, shoulder to shoulder. Cavity searches were also performed on all the men in that same crowded hallway.<br> <br> The $55 million settlement will be split among 250,000 prisoners subjected to the searches between 2004 and 2009. In a written statement Sheriff Tom Dart said, "<font>The vast majority of this money will go to the lawyers and not the detainees. In fact, the amount each detainee could actually see is very small – in most cases, just a few hundred bucks – compared to the millions and millions of taxpayer dollars that will be reaped by these lawyers." </font></p><p>Dart also said that over the last two years they've installed body scanners which largely eliminate the need for strip searches so that they're done only when the scanners raise a concern.<br> <br> The Cook County State's attorneys office was not immediately available for comment.</p></p> Tue, 16 Nov 2010 21:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cook-county-pay-55-million-jail-inmates Preckwinkle, Berrios among leaders in Cook County races http://www.wbez.org/story/assessor/preckwinkle-berrios-among-leaders-cook-county-races <p><div>With more than half of Cook County precincts reporting, Democrat Toni Preckwinkle has a big lead in the race to replace Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Democrat Joe Berrios currently leads Independent challenger Forrest Claypool in the assessor race.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">2,834 of 4,507 precincts - 63 percent</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Cook County Board President:</div><div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Toni Preckwinkle, Dem 551,491 - 68 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Roger Keats, GOP 228,058 - 28 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Thomas Tresser, Grn 33,401 - 4 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Assessor Cook County</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">2,834 of 4,507 precincts - 63 percent</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Joseph Berrios, Dem 373,051 - 46 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Forrest Claypool, Ind 266,099 - 33 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Sharon Strobeck-Eckersall, GOP 152,038 - 19 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Robert Grota, Grn 21,563 - 3 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Clerk Cook County</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">2,834 of 4,507 precincts - 63 percent</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">David Orr, Dem (i) 619,753 - 76 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Angel Garcia, GOP 191,265 - 24 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^Sheriff Cook County</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">2,834 of 4,507 precincts - 63 percent</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Thomas Dart, Dem (i) 617,986 - 76 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Frederick Collins, GOP 164,036 - 20 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Marshall Lewis, Grn 29,622 - 4 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^County Treasurer Cook County</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">2,834 of 4,507 precincts - 63 percent</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Maria Pappas, Dem (i) 617,072 - 76 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Carol Morse, GOP 195,921 - 24 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">^Water Commissioner Cook County WatCom</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">2,790 of 4,423 precincts - 63 percent</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Michael Alvarez, Dem 402,316 - 23 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Mariyana Spyropoulos, Dem 397,701 - 22 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Barbara McGowan, Dem 387,171 - 22 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Paul Chialdikas, GOP 243,115 - 14 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Jimmy Tillman, GOP 144,658 - 8 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Diana Horton, Grn 88,387 - 5 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Jack Ailey, Grn 58,743 - 3 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Nadine Bopp, Grn 55,138 - 3 percent</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: 10pt;">3 to be elected.</span></div></p> Wed, 03 Nov 2010 01:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/assessor/preckwinkle-berrios-among-leaders-cook-county-races