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Nearly Full Now, Cook County Jail Could Be Packed This Summer

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Cook County Jail (Credit: CBS)

Cook County Jail (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Cook County Jail is now eight inmates away from full capacity, and we haven’t even hit the summer crime wave.

So what happens then? CBS 2’s Brad Edwards has more

“My overtime budget is just absolutely exploding,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

And that’s not the half of it, this is supposed to be the slow season.

“With that then you knew you could withstand the storm that always came which is when the winter ended,” said Dart.

And the summer crime storm hits. The current spike in part due to CPD’s crackdown on gun crimes and more.

“It was terrible over there because it’s overcrowded,” said one inmate.

Jail capacity is 10,000. Years past, the jail population was 8,000-8,500. Today, it is 9,992; eight short of full capacity.

Consider the siren sounded.

“I have a limited number of arrows in my quiver on what I can do as far as housing people and when I’m at the end of that: we’re out of luck, we’ve got problems,” said Dart.

One side effect, it could become down-right dangerous.

The sheriff says a potential solution would be to let the less violent inmates be confined to their homes.

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