By Brad Edwards

CHICAGO (CBS) — At Cook County Jail 4,000 one-time inmates now have health coverage. CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports why in this original report.

One inmate at Cook County Jail is having a son on Friday. Even though he is in jail, he will be able to leave with healthcare for him and his son.

“With the Affordable Care Act, that presents some opportunities,” said Sheriff Tom Dart.

Compared to business as usual says the sheriff.

“It’s government at it’s worse…so stupid. We send um back out to the street with no plan so of course they’re going to come back in,” said Dart.

Especially for the on average 3-4,000 of the 10,000 at Cook County Jail that are mentally ill.

“From just purely the fiscal standpoint, when you have a population that you know factually if they can’t access care they’ll be back in your system and you allow that to continue to go on? You shouldn’t be in government anymore you should find a private business to destroy,” said Dart.

The sheriff said another other part of the problem hasn’t been solved: there’s still very few services out there for people.

Is it working? When it comes to inmates coming back, it typically takes about two years to see if recidivism rates drop

Watch & Listen LIVE