Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Editorial: Courthouse cell phone policy guilty as charged

Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Chicago Sun-Times
by Editorial Board

 

Beginning this week, visitors to the Leighton Criminal Court Building at 26th Street and California Avenue cannot store their cellphones in lockers or take them into the building. | Supplied photo

Beginning this week, visitors to the Leighton Criminal Court Building at 26th Street and California Avenue cannot store their cellphones in lockers or take them into the building. | Supplied photo

 

 


It seems like a very bad idea that a crime suspect could be freed because a witness wasn’t allowed into the courthouse.

But we can easily imagine that scenario playing out at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California, where authorities have yanked out lockers where people could store their cellphones before going through courthouse security. For most visitors, cellphones are banned at the courthouse, an usual policy that doesn’t exist in Chicago’s federal courts, Cook County branch courts or other major courthouses.

 
 

 

EDITORIAL

We share the puzzlement that witnesses, people with court dates and other visitors are feeling this week as they show up at the Leighton Courthouse and are told they can’t bring their cell phones into the building — and that there is no place to store them. In 2016, everyone has a cell phone. Are people who arrived on public transportation supposed to throw their phones away? This is the kind of policy that gives byzantine bureaucratic decisions a bad name.

Cell phones were banned three years ago because Chief Judge Tim Evans concluded they were a security risk. Critics say the ban is unnecessary because if someone whips out a cell phone to take a picture or video, sheriff’s deputies will seize the phone and march the offender out of the building. It’s possible to use a concealed phone as a sound recording device, but all you’d wind up with is a garbled record of a court proceeding.

The storage lockers disappeared Monday morning because the Cook County Department of Facilities Management — not the courts or the sheriff — complained people were storing contraband. That solved one problem, but created another.

We see a several possible solutions here.

  • Reinstall the lockers, possibly in a spot where people already have passed through security.
  • Have a private vendor to install and manage the lockers and charge whatever is necessary to provide oversight.
  • Allow cell phones back into the building and trust sheriff’s deputies and court officers to keep people from using them.

As things stand, what we see is a ban on good sense.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Board approves $6.2 billion budget for 2020, without increases in taxes or fees
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Commentary: Cook County forest preserve budget won’t meet needs of Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden and other land
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Re-enactors portray 1600’s through Civil War during annual Settlers’ Day
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Opportunity for small developers, and distressed neighborhoods: The Cook County Land Bank Authority celebrates 500th property rehab
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

50,000 Cook County food stamp recipients need to find jobs to continue getting benefits in 2020
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
WGN News Chicago

Housing protection advances for those with past convictions — prompting congratulations, concerns
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Hewn, baker of bread used at Sweetgreen, is moving to larger space in Evanston to accommodate demand
Monday, November 18, 2019
Chicago Tribune

COMMENTARY: Fritz Kaegi: Benefits of property tax assessment reform are showing in Cook County
Friday, November 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County forest preserve picnic, camping permits for 2020 season to go on sale Nov. 15
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s public defender plans to ask Illinois Supreme Court to reverse decision that permits holding preteens in custody despite county ordinance
Monday, November 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Clerk Yarbrough touts ‘method to her madness,’ says hiring criticism ‘is purely personal’
Saturday, November 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Nonprofit hospitals forced to defend hundreds of millions in property tax breaks
Friday, November 08, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Land Bank must serve neighborhoods, not City Hall insiders
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

After judge’s dismissal, Skokie appeals federal lawsuit over Evanston water rates
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 teens in DCFS care were shackled and handcuffed during drive from a youth shelter: ‘Totally unacceptable,’ agency says
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The lifelong damage we do in Cook County when we jail kids as young as 10
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Unfair assessments lawsuit dismissed after assessor makes changes — full reform called a ‘years-long process’
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Watch out, Cook County land bank. The public could foreclose — on you.
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles raises property tax about $21 per average household
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Pioneer Press

Nov. 15 is Opening Day for Forest Preserves of Cook County Picnic and Special Event Permit Sales, 2020 Camping Reservations
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP