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Arguments Wrap in Case for More Staff at Juvie Center

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Cook County’s troubled juvenile temporary detention center has been in and out of court all week. Attorneys tried to negotiate a deal to solve a staffing crisis. Today Federal Judge John Nordberg heard testimony after attorneys said negotiations failed.

Negotiations between the union representing many of hte detention center’s staff and management centered around its collective bargaining agreement. The issue is the center’s top administrator wants to hire an independent contractor to work security on the overnight shift and move those workers to the day. He says it’s necessary since the hiring process through the county is time-consuming and he needs the workers now. The union opposes that move.

Today the federal judge heard testimony from a union official who agreed with management that staffing levels are low and conditions are unsafe, but he said that’s nothing new for the detention center.

Meantime, an administrator for the center testified the number of violent incidents among the residents has gone up the past couple of months. Federal Judge John Nordberg says he hopes to have a ruling by the end of next week.

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