After a 17-month investigation concerning the conditions in the Cook County Jail, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald issued a scathing report calling for change and reforms.
The 98-page report on the nation's largest county jail was released July 17 and sent to County Board President Todd Stroger and Sheriff Thomas Dart with its findings and recommendations. It cited many cases of gross "medical negligence, mismanagement and abusive behavior by guards," which led to "unnecessary deaths, amputation and routine inmate beatings."
The outside world would be shocked to hear stories such as that of an inmate left untreated for a gunshot wound, who developed sepsis and died; a female inmate who suffered from HIV and died after a preventable infection went untreated; and an inmate beaten so bad by guards that his dentures were kicked out and he was sent to the hospital on a respirator.
The report pointed out that there is just one dentist for the entire 9,800-inmate population--and he only deals in extractions, with 25 percent of those resulting in infection.