FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chief Judge Evans announces decision on detention center administrator
Released On 07/01/2008
Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans issued the following statement concerning his decision today to defer appointment of a superintendent for the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) to allow, for the time being, the federal court-appointed transitional administrator, Earl Dunlap, to continue performing his duties at the facility:
"On August 14, 2007, in the federal court case of Jimmy Doe v. Cook County, 99 C 3945, Mr. Earl Dunlap was appointed transitional administrator of the JTDC to ‘oversee, supervise and direct’ all functions relating to the JTDC. Mr. Dunlap was charged with the responsibility to comply with administrative standards for the JTDC established by the federal court in the Memorandum of Agreement, Agreed Supplemental Order, and Modified Implementation Plan. In addition, the transitional administrator was vested with the responsibility ‘to foster an efficient and orderly transition of administrative and operational authority to the Chief Judge.’
"On January 1, 2008, the Illinois General Assembly transferred control of the JTDC to the chief judge, and gave me the authority to appoint a superintendent to administer the programs at that facility by June 30, 2008. However, I have chosen to defer such an appointment for now, allowing Mr. Dunlap more time to implement programs and procedures to fulfill the mandates of the federal court order until such time as I deem appropriate to appoint a superintendent as administrator of the center.
"For far too many years, the JTDC had the reputation of a non-functioning facility that merely warehoused children. I am committed to providing another chance for those children who find themselves in the JTDC, a chance for the bright future they have been denied that focuses on educational and career opportunities. And equally important, I insist that these children be provided with an environment at the JTDC that is free from violence and intimidation.
"In the 10 months that Mr. Dunlap has been the transitional administrator, it has been clear that he understands my overriding desire that the JTDC serve the best interest of the children of Cook County. It is also abundantly clear that Mr. Dunlap needs additional time to complete the tasks required by the federal court for transition to the chief judge, covered in, but not limited to, the order entered by the federal court.
"Because of the progress the transitional administrator has made, I have decided that it is in the best interest of the children that he have a fair opportunity to continue the work of bringing the JTDC into substantial compliance with the federal court order, the Memorandum of Agreement, and the Modified Implementation Plan.
"The federal court order also requires the transitional administrator to consult with and obtain input from the chief judge. I look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Dunlap to improve the children’s ability to succeed by establishing a new approach to employment and training of staff and other protocols.
"I also will expect and look forward to periodic progress reports from Mr. Dunlap to ensure that my expectations for improvements to the center are being met."