Your County at Work

From the Sun-Times: Feds seize county hiring records:

FBI agents also appeared at Stroger Hospital, Oak Forest Hospital, the downtown Cook County Forest Preserve offices, Provident Hospital, Cermak Hospital and the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center to serve subpoenas for records.


The feds also dropped a subpoena at the Juvenile Detention Center, where youthful offenders are held. Detainees claim they have been beaten by workers there. Critics say the facility is overseen by unqualified political appointees.

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Now, I do not work in the TJDC, I work in probation. I was not in the office for the dramatic serving of a subpoena–which was probably just dropped off by some investigator. It was business as usual when I visited a client at the school this morning. By business as usual, I mean waiting for an escort and hearing kids getting yelled at. I am not referring to other reports of the Detention Center.

County Government is so bloated that it is cutting into the necessary services that line staff provides. For instance I have spent more time at my desk filing paper work for “initiatives” to bring in more money than I have had one on one client time. This is the “new probation.” I think that it is a shame that probation has to scrounge for money to get our kids the substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling they need, as well as addressing their educational needs. But, that’s for another discussion.

The loyal opposition, as represented by Tony Peraica, wants to privatize certain county services (not, however, the juvenile court). He does want comprehensive management reform–which sounds like political speak for “Getting my people where I want them.” I seriously doubt a “reform” like Tony is going to increase Probation’s budget when he saves a few billion by privatizing janitorial services.

Getting your people into positions of power is, unfortunately, how the county works. In that respect, I do not believe Tony would be any different than Stroeger. Whatever money he save will go to his people, not to the people who need it most.

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