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Cook dinner County Jail woman workers speak out for 1st time since filing inmate sexual harassment lawsuit

CHICAGO (WLS) — Two ladies who said they had been victims of sexual harassment are speaking out for the very first time Thursday.

They are describing in graphic element what took place while doing work at the Prepare dinner County Jail.

Denise Hobbs and Esther Jones retired as Cook dinner County Jail workforce in 2019 after various many years of assistance. Each reported they chose to stop alternatively than continue to put up with sexual harassment from inmates.

“My office circumstances deteriorated,” Hobbs said. “Indecent publicity and community masturbation became commonplace and the norm.”

As a corrections officer, Hobbs claimed she was uncovered to the harassment everyday.

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Jones experienced sexual abuse when getting inmates between keeping cells and courtrooms.

“I come to feel like I dropped my humanity, it absolutely altered me as a individual,” Jones stated. “I turned fearful of my job or supported.”

Each gals said numerous verbal and prepared complaints to supervisors ended up not only disregarded, but mocked.

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“I submitted a report above masturbation that had just taken location [and] I was going for walks down the corridor and a fellow officer explained to me, ‘Hobbs, you however got it,'” Hobbs recalled.

Now, as they communicate out publicly for the 1st time, Hobbs, Jones and other woman staff members filed a class-motion lawsuit towards Cook County and the Sheriff’s business office in 2017.

The female jail employees’ lawsuit was submitted at the similar time as a group of girls from the public defender’s business who submitted a comparable accommodate, but it was afterwards settled by the county.

Relevant: Cook dinner Co. Jail woman staff file lawsuit towards sheriff, declare inmate harassment

“The sheriff has used the very last four decades combating this scenario tooth and nail as a substitute of attempting to take care of it,” claimed Noelle Brennen, the jail employees’ legal professional.

The county won an charm to declassify the lawsuit, meaning ladies who want to be a part of need to do so separately employing their names. In a published assertion, the sheriff’s place of work explained it has taken many techniques to deter harassment from inmates, including “specialized jumpsuits, new cuffing treatments and increasing jail willpower.”

The woman personnel say it’s not sufficient.

“They unsuccessful to guard me and other females,” Jones mentioned.

If other jail staff members want to sign up for the lawsuit, there is a court docket-requested deadline of July 7 to do so. Plaintiff attorneys said hundreds of gals are thinking of it.

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