Cook County Jail Almost Full: Sheriff

Sheriff blames Chicago's murder rate and crackdown on guns in part on the overcrowding

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images / Scott Olson

    The Cook County jail is nearly full and the county sheriff is worried things could get worse.

    Sheriff Tom Dart told the Sun-Times the jail hit 96 percent capacity last week with 9,721 inmates. Dart blames Chicago's homicide rate and a crackdown on guns in part for the overcrowding. He points to a spike in recent arrests as well as the time suspects must spend in jail as they await court dates.

    If something isn't done, Dart worries what will happen come summer when the area sees a surge in arrests.

    A county board committee is expected to consider the issue Tuesday at a hearing. They likely will consider electronic monitoring as an option to make more room.

    Sheriff’s spokesman Frank Bilecki told the Sun-Times he thinks the framework is in place to address overcrowding issues as long as they are implemented.