CHICAGO (CBS) — In the wake of a violent weekend in Chicago in which more than 100 people were shot – including 12 children – Chicago Police Supt. David Brown blamed the increase in failure to monitor violent offenders.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey looked into the numbers Monday.
Police Supt. David Brown spoke specifically about the failure of electronic monitoring systems. The Cook County Sheriff oversees one of those programs and he agrees.
Sheriff Tom Dart said there is a growing number of gun offenders in the program and that needs to change.
According to Chicago police and data collected by CBS 2, at least 102 people were shot from 5 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday, including 12 children. At least 13 people were killed, including at least five children.
“There are too many violent offenders not in jail or on electronic monitoring, which no one is really monitoring,” Brown said Monday in the wake of the shootings.
Brown did not hesitate to blame the crisis on that issue. But when we asked for specifics – which electronic monitoring program is he talking about and at what level is it failing, this was his response:
“I’m not into finger pointing. I’m into collaboration.”
So we asked Sheriff Dart, who oversees the largest electronic monitoring program in our area.
“I couldn’t agree with him more,” Dart said.
He said he has been raising these concerns for years.
“There’s just certain people who are too violent to be on home monitoring,” Dart said. “That’s just how it is.”
Dart said about 30 percent of his 3,331 offenders on electronic monitoring, or EM, are gun offenders. And that number has jumped dramatically since the start of the pandemic.
On March 15, the Sheriff’s office was monitoring just 2,422 people. They’re not aware of anyone in their program being arrested over the weekend.
But Dart said one or two of his EM offenders were shot.
“There’s ways to do this better, Megan, there really are,” Dart told Hickey “It can be done, but it’s very convoluted.”
Dart said in his program, the offenders are monitored 24 hours a day – but his program is one of four in our area, and some of those programs only monitor for 12 hours, sometimes overnight. The most violent offenders would be on the 24-hour monitoring with GPS tracking.
The Cook County Chief Judge’s office, which runs an EM program, said it’s “not clear” what connection is being made between electronic monitoring and violence over the weekend.
But Chief Judge Timothy Evans welcomes strengthen services for offenders on EM.