Federal Judge orders masturbating detainees to be handcuffed during courthouse appearances

Federal Judge orders masturbating detainees to be handcuffed during courthouse appearances

A U.S. federal court has ordered that detainees having a history of exposing themselves  before courthouse personnel must be handcuffed and must wear special type of jumpsuits while appearing at Chicago-area courthouses.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly issued a preliminary injunction in wake of three lawsuits having been filed by several female public defenders and Cook County Sheriff deputies alleging that the authorities have failed to do enough to prevent male detainees from exposing themselves and masturbating  while at the Cook County jail and the courtroom lockups.

The sexual misbehaviour by the detainees has been worsening according to both Amy Campanelli, the head of the Cook County public defenders office, and Sheriff Tom Dart.

It typically occurs when assistant public defenders and other legal aides confer with their clients at the Leighton Criminal Court Building and other suburban courthouses. When lawyers speak to their clients, other detainees who are in the line of sight of the public defenders often expose themselves or indulge in masturbation, as per the lawsuit filed  by six public defenders.

The lawsuits alleges that a group of detainees who call themselves “Savage Life” are behind these sexual assaults.

Judge Orders Measures to Curb Sexual Misconduct 

Under Kennelly’s injunction, all detainees who have a reported incident involving any  kind of indecent exposure, or masturbation will need to be “handcuffed at all times.”  Further the judge has asked the sheriff’s department to provide detainees with reported incidents to sexual misconduct to wear a special jumpsuit that would help “thwart indecent exposure and masturbation.”

Dart has agreed to follow the preliminary injunction. The order is expected to be in effect at least until January, when the court is likely to hear on the matter again.

Sheriff’s Office Not Doing Enough

Campanelli’s associates are blaming the Sheriff’s office for the escalating problem. Dart had increased deputies to the lockup areas earlier this year but later withdrew the personnel  a few months later.

According to Cara Smith, chief policy adviser to the sheriff, the public defenders office has turned down other measures suggested to deter the misconduct including boosting punishment for repeat offenders and using video conferencing for some hearings.

The detainees indulging in such behaviour are all those awaiting trial on charges such as aggravated robbery and murder.  Earlier attempts by the Sheriff’s department to use the specially designed jumpsuits were not successful as some inmates tried to set the uniform on fire.

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