Originally Posted Online: March 21, 2013, 8:21 am
Last Updated: March 22, 2013, 2:02 pm

Cook County officials seek to slow growth of jail population

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CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County commissioners are suggesting all prostitution arrests in the county be treated as misdemeanors as part of an effort to slow the growth of the jail population.

A resolution introduced during Wednesday's board meeting urges the Illinois Legislature to eliminate the felony prostitution charge.

Spokeswoman Sally Daly says State's Attorney Anita Alvarez hadn't reviewed the moratorium proposal and declined to comment on it.

According to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the jail's population jumped to 10,008 detainees on Monday. She says that is its highest number since March 2005. The jail's capacity is about 10,150.

Preckwinkle attributes the population increase to county law enforcement putting too much focus on non-violent felonies. Authorities also attribute growth to increased arrests and the long wait in bringing cases to trial.