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Jury Finds in Favor of the Sheriff’s Office in Inmate Property Case

A federal jury found the Cook County Sheriff’s Office policies and procedures for storing detainee personal property did not cause the loss or theft of those items.

Elizarri, et al., v. Sheriff of Cook County and Cook County, Ill., alleged that the Cook County Jail policies and practices caused personal property items detainees had upon booking to be lost or stolen, in violation of their right to due process.

United States District Court Judge Joan B. Gottschall presided over the jury trial that began Jan. 25. The jury began deliberations Feb. 4 and returned within hours with a verdict in favor of the Sheriff’s Office.

The class action lawsuit included individuals who were booked in the jail from June 2005 to June 2013. During that time, there were approximately 719,000 admissions at the jail. There were approximately 322 reports of property that could not be found in that time frame, which is approximately 0.0004 of admissions.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is committed to maintaining the personal items detainees have with them when they are booked at the jail and returning those items to them when they leave.


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