Jail Crowding May Be Reduced

01/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Frank Main Chicago Sun-Times

The elimination of video bail hearings at the courthouse at 26th and California is expected to create staffing problems for the Cook County sheriff but also could reduce jail crowding, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Since 1999, new arrestees have stood in a basement cellblock where a closed-circuit camera transmitted their images to a TV screen in front of a judge in the courtroom above.

But civil rights lawyers successfully argued that in-person hearings are more fair. So starting Monday, arrestees began appearing in court.

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