The majority of our spending goes to the Cook County Health and Hospital System, which is also our largest revenue source. Cook County Hospitals work to provide social services and medical care that focuses on treating the person as a whole. Cook County also provides healthcare for qualifying residents. CountyCare membership is projected to grow to an average of 390,689 for FY2022 due to COVID-19, rising regional unemployment, and a relaxation in the State’s automatic re-determination policies in reaction to the ongoing public health crisis. To find more information about County healthcare and how you can get coverage, visit here.
Public Safety is the second largest budget expenditure item. Cook County provides services for the protection of persons and property through the provision of a court system, a jail system, a Sheriff police force, prosecution, and public defense. The County operates the second largest unified court system in the United States (which hears civil, criminal, and administrative cases), the second largest prosecutor’s office in the nation (which is responsible for the prosecution of all misdemeanor and felony crimes committed in the County), and one of the largest criminal defense firms in the Country with over 500 attorneys charged with representing every type of criminal offense and child protection violation. The Cook County Department of Corrections is one of the largest single-site pretrial detention facilities in the United States.
The Cook County Justice Advisory Council (JAC) provides grants to organizations throughout Cook County working in the areas of Violence Prevention, Recidivism Reduction, and Restorative Justice. These programs work to reduce crime in our communities. The Public Guardian’s Office works to protect our most vulnerable citizens. It has three divisions. The Juvenile Division employs lawyers for abused and neglected children. The Adult Guardianship Division protects adults with disabilities and their estates. The Domestic Relations Division represents children in highly contested custody cases. If you would like to learn more, or know someone who may benefit from the services of a Public Guardian, visit http://www.publicguardian.org/, or call our office at 312-603-6380.
For a deeper dive into the Cook County Budget click HERE.
Remember: we get what we pay for.