Jail overcrowding focus of court hearing

February 29, 2008 3:57:04 PM PST
Overcrowding problems at the Cook County jail have prompted another court hearing.Attorneys for the sheriff's department and the MacArthur Justice Center, which represents inmates at facilities it considers overcrowded, were at the hearing.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall has visited the jail as part of a review and discovered inmates sleeping on the floor due to lack of room.

"Over the past several months, there have been episodes where nobody has slept on the floor. So, we're getting close to our goal," said Dan Gallagher, attorney for the Cook County Sheriff's Department.

No official rulings came from Friday's hearing, although the judge has declared the facility to be in violation of the 1982 consent decree regarding prison conditions.

More hearings are expected.