As if it wasn’t already difficult enough to visit an inmate at the Cook County Jail, Sheriff Tom Dart has now instituted new rules requiring that each potential visitor complete a “Visitor Application” form and they ask that you wait for at least three days before calling to see if you have been approved. My guess is that once you start calling, it might take three days to get a person on the line, who will probably tell you that they don’t know and call back later.
In addition, as you read these rules, you may wonder, as Kane County attorney Matt Haiduk did upon reading this, “what does it matter if somebody had been released from CCDOC within the previous 60 days? So, if I’m wrongfully accused of disorderly conduct, and can’t post bond for 24 hours, that means I can’t go back to visit somebody?” For that, I can give you no answer, except “because they can.”
From Sheriff Dart’s website:
Please be advised that the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) has instituted a new visitation policy. All family members and friends wishing to visit an inmate MUST complete and submit a Visitor Application to the CCDOC. Visitor Applications may be obtained and submitted at the following locations:
- Cook County Sheriff’s Office website http://www.cookcountysheriff.org
- divisional lobby where the inmate is being housed
- entrance of any Cook County courthouse
The application MUST be filled out completely and it is strongly encouraged to submit applications using the Sheriff’s website option. Minors under the age of 17 years old do not need to fill out an application; however they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who has been approved according to the new visitation policy at the time of the visit. Also, if the minor is high school age, a current school ID must be presented.
Once the application is received, a background check will be conducted to determine if the applicant will be approved for visiting privileges. Applicants may call the Visitor Information Center at 773.674.5225 to inquire about the status of their application. Please allow three (3) business days after submitting an application to inquire about the status.
Applicants will be denied visiting privileges based on the following criteria:
- The applicant provided inaccurate information on the Visitor Application.
- The applicant is under the age of 17 and without a parent or legal guardian.
- The applicant is:
- On parole/probation for less than one (1) year since serving a
sentence in jail or prison.
- On house arrest.
- On bond awaiting a court date.
- The applicant was discharged from CCDOC or any county jail within the last 60 days.
- The applicant has an outstanding warrant.
- The applicant has a protective order placed on the inmate they are requesting to visit.
- The inmate has a protective order placed on the individual requesting visitation.
- Any safety or security reasons as determined by a CCSO supervisor.