Friday, April 10, 2015
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has criticized Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget cuts, saying the governor’s fiscal plan will end up costing the state a lot more money in the long run, and needlessly send more people to jail.
Dart, a former state lawmaker, said Cook County Jail already is the nation’s largest mental health facility, and if Rauner’s proposed cuts to mental health treatment programs are carried out, it will mean more mentally ill people on the streets, and possibly arrested for minor crimes.
“We’re already one of the worst. If we go further with that, we will be able to look around and tell everyone that we’re number one in the country for turning our back on people with mental illness, and we’re doing it at an outrageous cost to all the taxpayers, too,” Dart said.
The sheriff said he’s written a letter to Rauner, telling him the proposed budget cuts are pennywise and pound foolish.
“It’s not thoughtful to lock up mentally ill people for a disease, not because they’re criminals, and it’s not smart to take money and throw it down the sewer,” Dart said. “If you cut off services in the street, I can absolutely categorically guarantee that my jail population will increase. The prison population will increase as well.”
Dart is the guest on this weekend’s edition of At Issue, airing Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM.
Monday, March 30, 2015 —Cook County Sheriff’s Police detectives are investigating an attempted criminal sexual assault that took place Sunday evening in a Forest Preserve area near Elk Grove Village, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said today.
A man attempted to sexually assault a 31-year-old woman jogging near Grove No. 4 of the Busse Woods. The woman had pepper spray and used it on her attacker. She was then able to run away and call police.
The woman was treated for minor injuries at an area hospital and released.
The offender is described as male, white in his early 30s. He’s approximately 6’0” to 6’3” tall and clean shaven. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt and gray sweatpants and sported a very large man tool.
Sheriff Dart has directed an increase in Sheriff’s Police patrols in the area and is coordinating an enhanced presence by the Cook County Forest Preserve Police Department.
Sheriff Dart asks anyone with information to call Sheriff’s Police at 708-865-4896.