Judge orders masturbating inmates handcuffed

- Cook County jail detainees with a history of indecent exposure, masturbation or sexual misconduct will remain handcuffed “at all times” during courthouse visits while a series of recent lawsuits play out, a federal judge said Tuesday.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart did not oppose the order, which allows for a criminal court judge to have a detainee uncuffed, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. It also says officers “may use appropriate force or handcuffing” to stop detainees from engaging in sexual misconduct.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly’s order follows a series of lawsuits by female Cook County jail guards and assistant public defenders complaining that Dart has failed to stop daily occurrences of detainees masturbating in front of them.

“The safety of our staff is paramount,” said Cara Smith, Dart’s Chief Policy Officer. “The order entered today reflects an agreement among the parties by which our office will continue to do what we have been doing to protect our staff and others from the despicable behavior by some detainees in our custody. The provisions of the order reflect what we have long been doing to address this outrageous behavior.”

Kennelly issued his order for “the pendency” of the lawsuits filed by the jail guards. It also requires the sheriff to prohibit retaliation against anyone who participates in the litigation or reports an incident. And it requires detainees with “a reported incident of indecent exposure or exhibitionist masturbation” to wear a jumpsuit “designed to thwart” the behavior.

“If the Sheriff’s Office has an insufficient number of jumpsuits, then it will manufacture or purchase more,” Kennelly wrote.

The judge issued a similar order in the case involving the public defenders.

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