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No More Sleeping on the Floor at County Jail

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No one’s had to sleep on the floor at the Cook County Jail for the last couple months. That’s unusual, and it’s welcome news for the people running the place.

The jail can house 9,600 inmates but historically there have often been more than that at the facility on Chicago’s Southwest side. As a result, a federal judge has been monitoring the population. Bill Cunningham is a spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who runs the jail. He’s hopeful the judge will end federal oversight.

CUNNINGHAM: We just have to be able to consistently show the judge that we’re remaining under capacity and that we have strategies in place that will allow us to remain under or at capacity even given the usual ebb and flow of the population.

Cunningham says a number of programs, including bunk sharing in which inmates sleep in shifts, have meant no one has had to sleep on the floor since April 28. But Cunningham is quick to point out that the jail population always goes up during July and August.

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