Monday, April 20, 2009

Cook County Changes to Electronic Monitoring Program

For many months we have been reporting on efforts by Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart, to change the way the Electronic Monitoring Program is run in Cook County. The Electronic Monitoring Program was implemented many years ago to deal with the problem of overcrowding in the Cook County Jail. Inmates that are considered non-violent, and usually held for minor criminal violations, are fitted with an electronic bracelet around their ankle that transmits an electronic signal which notifies jail personnel when they leave their home. This bracelet allows inmates to spend time at home rather than jail.

Sheriff Dart has taken steps which has drastically cut down the number of inmates on Electronic Monitoring. He has been working on efforts to place the decision of who should be placed on Electronic Monitoring to judges rather than jail personnel.

A "Special Update" has been placed on the Sheriff's website. The "Special Update" reads as follows:

Since 15 December 2008, placements onto Electronic Monitoring are being made in Central Bond Court. Recently arrested persons who wish to be placed on Electronic Monitoring should immediately notify their attorneys and/or court personnel of this fact.

In addition, persons incarcerated in the Department of Corrections may ask their attorneys to bring the same request in the appropriate court.

The practical effect of this change is that in order for an inmate to be eligible for Electronic Monitoring, a judge must first find that the inmate is eligible for Electronic Monitoring. So when a judge sets a bond, the judge will also determine whether that inmate can be released on Electronic Monitoring. An inmate will not be placed on Electronic Monitoring unless a judge has found that the inmate is eligible for this program.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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