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Cook County Jail Almost Full Months Ahead of Peak Criminal Season

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says the jail is nearly full, and he’s concerned the facility will be bursting at the seams as summer months approach and arrests typically rise with the mercury.

Late last week, the jail at 27th and California was almost 96 percent full, with a daily population of 9,721. The capacity is about 10,150.

“That will become a humongous problem for me come June, July and August,” Dart told the Chicago Sun-Times in a recent interview.

A confluence of events has prompted the surge in detainees, including a spike in arrests and in the amount of time suspects spend behind bars as their cases wind through the justice system. A recent drop in the number of suspects who go home on electronic monitoring also is pushing up the number of detainees. Dart and Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans blame each other for that decrease. . .


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