The Tonka Report

Real News In A Changing World

Cook County To Pay $55.3 Million To Settle Jail Strip Search Cases

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November 16, 2010: Hal Dardick / The Chicago Tribune – November 16, 2010

Chicago – The Cook County Board today approved a $55.3 million settlement in a class-action civil lawsuit alleging that thousands of inmates at the county jail were improperly strip searched. The 14-1 vote came after the county lost a series of federal court rulings based on legal challenges that date back to 2006. The courts had already determined the strip search procedures improper and the county has changed them. Some of the victims should not have been strip searched in the first place, lawyers for the plaintiiffs said, and were in jail on charges as minor as failure to appear in court for traffic offenses.

Had the board rejected the settlement and continued to litigate the case, the county could have ended up paying far more in damages, said Asst. State’s Atty. Patrick Driscoll, the county’s top civil attorney. “It’s in the best interests of the county financially to settle now,” he said.

Procedures at the jail have been changed under Sheriff Tom Dart, who replaced his former boss, Sheriff Michael Sheahan. Inmates are now searched with electronic equipment, much like the increasingly controversial devices used in some instances at airports, Driscoll said.

Only lame duck Commissioner Tony Peraica, R-Riverside, voted against the settlement, saying court procedures have “wildly inflated” the settlement costs. “Not to accept this would be totally stupid,” countered Commissioner Mario Moreno, D-Chicago, the other commissioner whose tenure is nearing an end.

The attorneys representing the former jail inmates will be paid $15 million, Driscoll said. The rest will go to more than 250,000 inmates jailed between Jan. 30, 2004 and March 19, 2009, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs. Payments will range from about $500 to $1,000, the lawyers said. County insurance will cover $10 million of the costs. Taxpayers will foot the rest.

Strip Search Of A Woman In Prison

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: The point of the video I posted above, is to illustrate the humility of this human rights violation. Meanwhile, once again the taxpayer gets saddled for the price of US government crime perpetrated by a corrupt system teeming with sexual deviants, pedophiles and psychopaths, as their prisoners are now allegedly treated with more respect and dignity than law-abiding airline passengers? No mas! – SJH

Link to original article below…

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2010/11/cook-county-to-pay-553-million-to-sell-jail-strip-search-case.html

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