Go Bears Go





The Bears left for Miami today! One week away from Superbowl!

I just can't believe these cut? 10K average prisoners a day a Cook County Jail, Tom Dart, Sheriff of Cook County has taken the brunt of Todd's cuts. And there are some departments that have 1 supervisor for every 3 or 4 employees. What is wrong with cutting here? Cook County law enforcement busts a truck with 14 million dollars worth of Marijuana What will happen when the Cook County Sheriff's department has to cut officers? These kinds of major busts are frequent and often. Yes we will hear less busts, because they will not be happening with less officers.

Health cuts at county jail ripped
Stroger budget ax would slice medical services, dump top doctors
By Judith Graham
Tribune staff reporter
Published January 28, 2007

For decades, Cook County Jail has run one of the most effective, scandal-free medical programs for inmates in the nation.
Now, proposed budget cuts threaten to decimate those services, watchdogs say, warning of potentially dire consequences.
Already, a nationally recognized program at the jail that screens inmates for sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia has ended because of funding shortfalls.
Cuts would go much deeper under the county's amended budget, released last week. Altogether, funding for medical services at the jail would shrink 25 percentunder the plan suggested by County Board President Todd Stroger.
The budget calls for the jail's top four physicians to lose their jobs, eviscerating the medical leadership.
In addition, tuberculosis screening, infection control, mental health services and dental care all would be scaled back under the plan.
That has spurred the threat of legal challenges by prison advocates.
"We expect we will be in court very soon" if the county follows through, said Charles Fasano, director of the prisons and jails program at the John Howard Association of Illinois.
Inmates have a constitutional right to adequate medical care under the law, and "the jail will become a dangerous environment if the changes they're talking about go through," he said. Stroger's office declined a request for comment.
The proposed cuts would lead to the dismissal of four key doctors: Medical Director Sergio Rodriguez, Associate Medical Director Connie Mennella, Director of Operations Michael Puisis and Muhammed Mansour, a senior physician in charge of infection control.
"I'm just shocked," said Dr. John Raba, who was medical director at the jail from 2003 to 2005. "These are some of the best people in the field. Without them, I'm afraid you'll see services fall apart."
The staff reductions come at a sensitive time, when medical services for Cook County's troubled juvenile detention center are being incorporated into services at the jail. Puisis was leading that effort; it's not clear who will carry it forward.
The physician leaders also provide basic medical services to inmates. Their departures would deal a blow to primary care at the jail, where three other doctors' jobs could be eliminated. If all seven positions are cut, only eight primary care physicians will remain on hand to treat the jail's daily census of 10,000 inmates, a population with a disproportionate share of medical complications.
"With this staffing level, we will not be able to support our primary care and public health initiatives," Rodriguez said in an interview Friday.
Instead of providing medical care in the units where inmates are held, the jail probably will end up centralizing services and providing mostly "urgent care," he said.
This will require correctional officers to transport inmates from one building to another, consuming resources at the sheriff's office. If transportation isn't available, inmates could go without medical services, Raba predicted.
That could cause detainees' existing conditions to worsen, requiring more transports to emergency rooms at Stroger Hospital or Provident Hospital, Raba said. This also would require the presence of correctional offices and expensive ambulance services, potential barriers to securing access to care.

"These proposed cuts will be devastating for inmates and the Cook County Jail, and people will die if they're implemented," said Benjamin Wolf, associate legal director of ACLU of Illinois. "Cook County can either continue to fund needed services or face litigation."
The proposed county budget also calls for dental services at the jail to be scaled back from four dentists to one. Mental health service staff would be slashed by about 30 percent, not including psychologists and psychiatrists, who work under an outside contract. As many as 15 percent of the jail's 10,000 inmates are diagnosed with one or more mental illnesses.
The infection control department, which works to stem the spread of communicable conditions, such as drug-resistant staph infections, would lose much of its staff, including its head physician.
About 80 percent of skin infections tested at the jail turn out to be dangerous, antibiotic-resistant infections known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, an emerging public health threat that is showing up increasingly in hospitals in Chicago and across the nation. MRSA infections could be transmitted within the jail and outside.
Although screening for tuberculosis probably will continue, the medical department responsible is slated to lose a number of key positions as well as the doctor who heads the program, associate medical director Mennella said.
If that hurts TB detection, the consequences could be felt far beyond the inmate population. Just three weeks ago, a case of multidrug resistant TB was diagnosed and treated at the jail. If the case hadn't been caught, the inmate could have spread TB to other detainees in the jail, who in turn could have spread it much more widely in Chicago upon their release, experts said.
About two-thirds of jail detainees return to their neighborhoods instead of going to prison.
Cuts also would end a program that lets several hundred women inmates spend days at the jail and nights at home with their children, increasing the risk that the children could end up in foster care. Most women offenders in Cook County are single mothers picked up in drug busts, experts said.
Even without the proposed cuts, the jail's medical services already suffered the elimination of routine testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Under the program, those who were infected were given treatments known to be effective.
As many as one-third of all STD cases in Cook County were handled through the jail, Rodriguez said.
"It's stupid and short-sighted. Most of these detainees return to the community, where they're at risk of infecting other residents," said Dr. Whitney Addington, former president of the Chicago Board of Health.
25% Overall funding reduction proposed for medical services at Cook County Jail. Four top physicians would lose their jobs.
30% Proposed cut to mental health service staff. As many as 15% of the jail's inmates have one or more mental illnesses.
jegraham@tribune.com

Commisioners are lining up against Todd

1 Comment:

  1. Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
    Go Bears!

    Tood is in the heat of problems. I hope the protesters' voice is heard.

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