Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart released a statement Tuesday saying the Cook County Jail has reached its highest inmate population level since Oct. 11, 2007. "As of Aug. 20, the Cook County Jail population stands at 10,182 ... a 3.7 percent increase over the past 11 days," it reads. Dart adds that the sheriff's office is paying downstate counties for the use of more than 200 beds, and that "thanks to the heightened involvement of the judiciary," Cook County is at its highest electronic monitoring level in years. Additionally, the closing of mental health clinics continues to yield a staggering amount of mentally ill individuals into the jail, typically for petty offenses." Dart adds that the department's overtime costs are increasing dramatically in addition to the standard $145 daily cost to house one inmate. "If these trends continue, hard-earned legal successes will be jeopardized," he concludes.
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