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About Sheriff Dart

Sheriff Tom Dart has dedicated his career to challenging injustice, fighting the violence plaguing our communities and bringing a thoughtful approach to public service.

After serving as a prosecutor and an Illinois state legislator, Sheriff Dart ran for Cook County Sheriff in 2006, promising to bring his reformative vision to the role. In the ensuing years, he has essentially rewritten the book on what a Sheriff can accomplish – often looking outside of the conventions of law enforcement for solutions.

Sheriff Dart has instituted extensive programming at the Cook County Jail, seeking to give detainees skills to stop the revolving door of incarceration. The Sheriff’s Office currently runs many successful programs within the jail such as art, chess, construction, cooking, gardening, parenting and literacy.

Sheriff Dart has shined a national spotlight on the perils of the criminalization of mental illness. He has helped to fill the void left by mental health treatment centers closing in Chicago with necessary care and mental health treatment programs for those impacted by the criminal justice system, inside and outside of the jail.

Sheriff Dart has made the Cook County Sheriff’s Office a national leader in combatting sex trafficking. The Sheriff’s Office has arrested child traffickers and sex traffickers, many of whom have received life sentences. In 2011, he started the National Johns Suppression Initiative (NJSI), a national coalition of law enforcement agencies that focus on finding and arresting johns. The Sheriff’s Office also employs former victims to help run trafficking intervention programs.

Sheriff Dart has taken aim at the violence in Chicago, introducing the Sheriff’s Anti-Violence Effort (SAVE) program at the jail. The program provides intensive therapy and life skills training for 18 to 24-year-old men incarcerated from the most violent zip-codes in the city. While, outside of the jail, the Sheriff’s Chicago Initiatives use a community policing model that has helped to remove guns from the street, suppress shootings and reconnect law enforcement with communities.

In 2017, Governing Magazine named Sheriff Dart a Public Official of the Year, and TIME Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2009.

Sheriff Dart and his wife, Patricia, live on Chicago’s South Side and are the proud parents of five children.

 


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