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Near-Capacity Cook County Jail Bleeds Budget

County President Toni Preckwinkle is asking 1,500 inmates be transferred to home-monitoring, to prevent an overcrowding crisis, ABC7 reports.

Cook County Jail is nearly full to bursting.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is asking the detention center to reduce its 10,000+ population by 1,500 because there is not enough money to pay for them, ABC7 reports. At its current rate of admissions, the prison is poised to exceed its 10,150-prisoner capacity "within days."

"The population I had today is what I'd normally have at the worst time of the year," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart told ABC7. "You can't sustain that. My overtime budget is exploding right now, absolutely exploding. I'm already close to going through what I was supposed to do for the whole year."

To prevent overcrowding, Preckwinkle proposes that by mid-summer, 1,500 prisoners be transferred to home monitoring, which costs nearly $113 less per day than prison. She noted that 70 percent of the current inmates are in jail for non-violent offenses. 

Get the rest of the story from ABC7.

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Edward Andrysiak March 21, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Doing time...should/could be turned into a positive. First, split the cells into daytime and night time occupancy. Correspondingly, to double the capacity put half to work on public works projects. So, while one half sleeps and eats the other half is out WORKING. Maybe this will give them a little incentive not to come back! It isn't a breach of their rights either which call for non use of cruel and unusual punishment...after all most of us work!
Edward Andrysiak March 26, 2013 at 04:47 PM
A politician recently claimed that we should legalize drugs becuase our prisons are full of people, non violent people, who were sentenced to prison time on mostly drug related charges. I have to wonder why we don't leave the laws alone and just fine these people very hefty fines for these infractions. You can put someone in jail for a year and stand the cost of sustaining him/her or you can fine them $1000.00 plus for the offence and more for repeaters.

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