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Report critical of Cook County pretrial services

Published: Friday, March 21, 2014 2:46 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — A new report says staff shortages and other problems have undermined the office that helps Cook County judges decide if a suspect should remain in jail pending trial.

Friday's release of the report on pre-trial services comes amid scrutiny of the overcrowded Cook County Jail.

The 65-page report by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts says doubts about the credibility of pretrial services' reports have led judges to rely on them less in deciding a suspect's fate.

It also says the number of staff at pretrial services has fallen to 104 employees, down from 179 employees in 1990. And it says that stretched-thin staff must use antiquated technology and incomplete data on suspects.

The report makes dozens of recommendations, including that pretrial services' Internet technology be upgraded.

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