Thursday, December 1, 2016
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart & Illinois State Senator Bill Cunningham have early released so many criminals that they are now demolishing jail buildings - And the millions of taxpayers dollars being used to pay the politically connected Waste Management / Kcom to demolish these jail buildings
Standing in front of remnants of the gutted Division 3 building Wednesday morning at the sprawling Cook County Jail grounds near 26th Street and California Avenue, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Sheriff Tom Dart and several city and county elected officials touted diversion programs for nonviolent offenders and other initiatives they said have helped lower the number of inmates — most awaiting trial — by more than 20 percent.
Preckwinkle's office estimates the demolition would save the county $3 million in operating costs during the next fiscal year and $188 million in capital costs over the next decade.
By next year, Divisions 3 and 17 would be demolished, with the razing of the massive Division 1, which consists of two buildings totaling 344,000 square feet, to begin in 2018.
The cost of demolishing Divisions 3 and 17 will be about $2.6 million each, with the costs for tearing down the Division 1 structures still being determined, officials said.
A long-standing problem with overcrowding at one of the nation's largest jail systems for more than three decades led to a federal consent decree that forced a series of federal judges to watch over operations.
"The more money we spend on unnecessary pretrial detention, the less money we have for other purposes," Preckwinkle told a reporters inside the razor-wired jail complex.
The jail's inmate population has fallen to just more than 8,000 inmates, down from its peak of more than 11,000 in 2002, according to jail officials.
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