Anyone Catch This?
- Four leaders of Cook County's criminal justice system agreed the system remains flawed but sparred briefly at a joint appearance Thursday after the county's chief judge said some people languishing in jail for minor offenses like retail theft had serious crimes in their background.
Much of their discussion Thursday at a City Club of Chicago luncheon centered on how the criminal justice system often inadequately deals with low-level offenders or those with mental health issues.
Chief Judge Timothy Evans said not everyone locked up at the county jail for retail theft has a background of petty crimes. Some have histories that include attempted murder, he said in making a point about judges needing to protect the public in setting bond even for seemingly minor offenses.
This all has to do with something we covered in a previous post where Dart complains that a Snickers thief was locked up in the jail and a reader pointed out that the Snickers thief had a record that was actually taller than Dart and included a number of hefty felonies.
- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who has been critical of too many nonviolent offenders clogging the jail, laughed loudly at the comment. After the gathering, Preckwinkle said she didn't recall what she was laughing about.
Sheriff Tom Dart, who is responsible for the jail's operation, disputed Evans' characterization, saying inmates charged with retail theft typically have other shoplifting cases in their background.
Which just goes to show that Dart doesn't know a thing about the people locked up in the jail. And rounding out the circus, everyone's favorite clown:
- State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, who also took part in the program, called for gun laws to be strengthened.
Anita is looking at a primary challenge from Prickwrinkle's organization, but Prickwrinkle took the cake at this whole symposium:
- "When we're talking about criminal justice in this country, we have to understand that we're talking about race and class," [Preckwinkle] said. "Those aren't comfortable subjects for most Americans to address."
She said a delegation from South Africa that toured the jail asked their guides an eye-opening question.
"They got to the end of the tour and asked, 'Where's the jail for white people?'" Preckwinkle said.
Wrinkledprick is telegraphing her entire campaign strategy right there. The old "Americans are cowards when it comes to race" crap that Eric Holder espoused, even with a black Chief Judge and a female Hispanic States Attorney, a token white guy as sheriff and a black woman running the county.