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posted: 10/14/2013 5:00 AM

Preckwinkle committed to working with all

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I was disappointed by the way the Daily Herald characterized my position -- writing that my "efforts to reduce the county's jail population and save taxpayers millions of dollars are year are being thwarted by the county's elected public safety leaders" ("Preckwinkle: Other county leaders resist ideas to reduce jail costs, Oct. 11). What I actually said is no different from the position I've always maintained. I believe all public safety leaders in Cook County, myself included, must do their part to reduce the Cook County jail population, which has hovered near capacity for several months.

Sheriff Tom Dart has been particularly helpful by considering ways to expand the criteria for release on electronic monitoring and he is working closely with my administration to improve criminal justice technology. State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has agreed to pilot a program to expedite cases where defendants are likely to get probation. And, the Public Defender's Office continues to seek reduced bond amounts by filing motions to reconsider for individuals who can't afford to pay high bails.

The Illinois Supreme Court is convening a meeting with all of the stakeholders to determine what each of us can do to improve our justice system in Cook County. I am committed to working with each of them to better serve our residents.

Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County Board President

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