Federal Lawsuit Prompts End of ‘Mind Boggling’ Cook County Practice


Juveniles arrested in Cook County on Fridays can spend entire weekends in jail before seeing a judge. But that practice is about to change.

Four parents sued the county because their sons were held in juvenile detention for days without a hearing. An outraged judge is seeing to it that the change happens quickly.

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WBEZ reporter Patrick Smith reported on the story last week. He wrote:

The change comes just two weeks after four parents filed a federal lawsuit that claimed Cook County violated the constitutional rights of juveniles by not letting them see a judge on weekends and holidays.

The speedy change in process was spurred by blunt comments from Judge Thomas Durkin.

In an earlier hearing, Durkin called it “a glaring inconsistency” that the county holds hearings for adults 365 days a year, but does not do the same for juveniles.

“It is mind boggling to me that adults, who are less fragile, get before a judge more quickly than juveniles,” Durkin said last week.

Smith joins us with the latest on the story.


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