Suit alleges inmates not protected from violence at Cook County Jail

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A federal class action lawsuit filed today alleges  a culture of brutality that puts inmates at constant risk at the Cook County Jail.

Northwestern’s MacArthur School of Justice laid out a litany of complaints about abuse at the county jail.

“Officers slam people to the floor; stomp, kick and punch them, all while the individuals are handcuffed and shackled,” said David Shapiro of MacArthur Justice Center at a news conference today. “An expert in security and correctional management states that the Cook County jail is among the worst in the country with regard to violence.”

The lawsuit calls the jail, and its staff, an embarrassment, guilty of beating, harassing and intimidating inmates.

Cook County Sherriff Tom Dart says the MacArthur Justice Center’s lawsuit is a frivolous money-grab aimed at wracking-up billable hours.

“We are going to fight this so vigorously,” Dart said.  “And we are not going to be able to stop until we know it’s been put to rest.”

Dart also calls the suit insulting and says its filed by violent criminals, some of whom are also professional litigants, he says, backed by overzealous lawyers.

The suit seeks money in only one case. More immediately, it calls for an injunction allowing outside oversight of how things run inside America’s largest lockup.

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  • Hyfirstbornson

    The CCDOC has a long history of violence against jail detainees. The John Howard Association and countless lawsuits and injunctions to prevent beatings and other Eighth Amendment abuses will not prove for better jail behavior and safe conditions this time around either.

  • Joe

    They are in jail to protect society from them, Best would be to throw them all in a big pit and pave it over. This is just a bunch of lawyers and convicts looking for publicity and money it is called EXTORTION and politicians are expert at it also.

    • Patrick

      The county has a long history of beating helpless inmates. Nobody deserves to get beat by the law but this is chicago what do u expect. Every two to three weeks the city is writing checks for millions of dollars because of police beatings so the history is their to support the claim.

    • Patrick

      You are ignorent most people in the county are their because they are awaiting trail not because they are violent.Also they are not beating the violent offenders just the helpless I worked at the county for 20 yrs I know.

  • marty

    I think these inmates want a Holiday Inn setting. The mouth piece lawyers are looking for cash not changing anything. They must be running out of victims from the church issues. These lawyers will ruin what is left of our country.

  • LawOfLiberty

    Maybe those who are alleging to being treated violently should ask for a bail bondsman to get them out of jail and then speak out about what happened to them. Corruption is at all levels, and if many are being treated unfairly, the "powers that be" don't want them speaking out about it, especially from inside the jails walls.

  • Kendra evans

    My son is a victim of a stabbing in cook county jail and another put in solitary confinement for something he did not do while as a family we are trying to prove their innocent. Something needs to be done. We need help.