Cook County, IL

Summary

Cook County, which contains the city of Chicago, operates one of the largest single-site jails in the United States.

Cook County has made progress in reducing reliance on jail incarceration in recent years, with the population of the Cook County Jail declining about 17% between June 2013 and March 2015. Some of these reductions are due to a Bond Court Initiative that more than doubled the percentage of releases on recognizance over a two-year period. Releases on electronic monitoring have roughly doubled as well. An enhanced Pretrial Services Department, combined with judicial training and other collaborative reform efforts by stakeholder agencies, has expanded diversion to specialty courts and alternatives to prosecution. And a special initiative to enroll eligible detainees under the Affordable Care Act has resulted in increased coverage for case management and treatment services that can reduce the need for incarceration.

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