An article in the Chicago Tribune had OR written all over it. Apparently, there is a shortage of electronic monitoring bracelets in Cook County’s juvenile detention center. As a result, juveniles awaiting trial can’t be sent home and have to stay in the detention center longer. They may be alleged criminals, but they’re still kids, and there are many social reasons to keep these kids out of the detention centers.
The bracelets permit those accused of less serious crimes to go home rather than be confined in the center as they await resolution of their cases. Reducing the number of teens at the facility allows officials to concentrate on youths who require intensive supervision or who are a danger to the community.
There is a shortage because of “county budget shortfalls” and the “bureaucratic purchasing process,” which creates barriers to purchasing bracelets even when they are available. Last year, Cook County received grant money to buy more bracelets, which eliminated one cause of the shortage but worsened the other cause.
[U]sing a grant to buy supplies slows down the purchasing process even more than the usual county bureaucracy because several more steps are required.