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Report Shows Jail Population Going Down

SHARE Report Shows Jail Population Going Down

The long list of problems for Cook County’s jail have persisted for decades. Too many inmates and too few staff are some of the issues. But a new report shows some of those numbers are improving.

The report shows fewer people are being admitted to the jail, which has helped the overcrowding problem. Charles Fasano, with the John Howard Association, has been monitoring jail conditions for more than 20 years. He says the drop in inmates could be temporary.

FASANO: Depending what happens on the streets with the police departments and crime on the streets, so we could be in a situation in a very short time where the numbers might start going back up again.

Fasano says there are other, more permanent fixes the jail could do, like release more people awaiting trial on electronic monitoring. A spokesperson for Sheriff Tom Dart, who’s in charge of the jail, says conditions are by no means perfect, but the office is working to make improvements. Last month, the U.S. Justice Department released a report deriding the jail for its poor health care system and dilapidated building.

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