Jail Exchange, Every Jail, Every Prison, Every Facility in the Country
Android app on Google Play
Skip Navigation LinksCounty Jails > Illinois > Cook > Cook County Jail

+Straight Up Answers

Pregnant and in Prison – Now What?

Going to prison or jail while you are pregnant sometimes can't be helped, but you will need to be sure you get the proper treatment and medical care while incarcerated. You'll also need to make arrangements for the baby after he or she is born. Banking on the belief you will be released before your […]

Fun Ideas for Inmate Mail

Writing to your inmate is an invaluable way to communicate. You'll have your share of serious life issues letters, but here are some fun ways to entertain each other through letters. These can be done on postcards, too. Top 5 + 5 = 10 Each of you make a list of your favorite five things […]

5 Steps to Mailing Commissary Money to a Federal Inmate

In addition to these five steps below, keep in mind that when you mail the commissary funds, they must go through the United States Postal Service. You cannot use Federal Express, United Parcel or other similar services. Step 1 Know where to send it. All federal commissary money must be sent to a central post […]

Pregnant Inmates and Things They Should Do For Safety and Health

A pregnant inmate should take steps before going to jail to protect her pregnancy and the baby. There are several ways this can be done. From the first day, the jail needs to be aware the inmate is expecting. The jail will then perform its own pregnancy test to confirm the information. Ask about nutrition […]

Why Can't I Put a Three-Way Call Through for an Inmate?

Your inmate might ask you to put a telephone call of his through to another person by using the three-way system. Most cell phones and landlines are set up so that three people can converse on one phone call. Jails around the country typically don't allow this. Here are some of the facts. Why Do […]

5 Ways to Help an Addict While he is Away at Rehab

Unless your friend is still living at home with parents and has no bills or responsibilities, he/she is going to need some help while at rehab. The five main reasons addicts worry about being gone are: Pets: If you are an animal lover, you might offer to take his pet in and take of him […]

Why Doesn't An Addict Get Clean After Overdosing?

As told by an addict who overdosed and almost died twice before giving up drugs. How often did you get high before you overdosed? By the time I overdosed the first time, I was getting high on a daily basis. I no longer took drugs to enjoy a high. I took them to avoid being […]

Getting a Felon's Voting Rights Restored in Michigan

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights given to American citizens, however, once convicted of a felony, whether or not that right will be restored to you is up to the state that you reside in. The laws for Michigan include: Pending Cases If you are charged with a crime, but have not yet […]

Losing SSI and SSDI Benefits While Incarcerated

Your husband goes to jail and you figure his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits will at least help with the bills even though he is not home to receive them. When the payments stop, there are four reasons why this may happen. Here are the four stages of the […]

Should Children Visit Parents in Jails and Prisons?

Children think in very literal terms. Rules are to be obeyed and if you don't obey them you are being bad. When a parent goes to jail, the child not only has to accept the fact that the parent made a really bad choice, but they also have to comprehend that the parent has been […]

Can a Felon Possess a Gun In California?

California law allows some convicted felons to own or possess guns. Federal law still makes it a crime to do so, and in some cases the feds have pursued prosecution of those who possess guns in states that permit it. Only an attorney should advise you on this matter, but the basics of California laws […]

Drug Addiction and Anger: Why Should I Do Anything for Him After All He Did?

When your boyfriend was doing drugs, there was chaos everywhere he went. Now that he completed rehab and is in recovery, he might need assistance with a few things to get started again. Putting your anger aside and helping him can provide the following benefits. Self-confidence: Whether he admits it or not, when he was […]

Inmate Visitation Suggestions

You have to schedule inmate visits into all of the other things going on in your life. To an inmate, your visit is the highlight of his week. You know that, but you also have a lot going on in your life. Make sure your time is well spent by reviewing these guidelines. Always be […]

Helpful Workout Routines if you are in State or Federal Prison

Incarceration is scary. It doesn't matter how old or tough you are, fear is a natural response to being sent to prison. Not showing that fear is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself while doing your time. Exercise is a perfect tool to alleviate fear. According to Harvard Health […]

Can a Felon Own a Gun Oklahoma?

Generally speaking, federal law makes it a crime for a convicted felon to own or possess a gun or ammunition. If you were convicted of a federal felony crime, you must receive a presidential pardon if you are to ever own a firearm again. Some states, however, have specifically designed laws regarding felons convicted of […]

Hundreds more 'Straight Up Answers'...

The Cook County Jail in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, like all jails is a maximum security facility. Because the inmates in this jail range from low level offenders to those being held for violent crimes like robbery, rape and murder, the security level is as high as is it is in any maximum security state prison. Some of the security features in this facility include security cameras, electronic detection and reinforced fencing topped with razor wire. Correctional officers in Cook County Jail are armed with mace and trained to use physical force to protect themselves and other inmates from violence.

The men, women and juveniles being held in the Cook County Jail are either awaiting trial or have been sentenced in the Cook County Court System already and been sentenced to a period of time of one year or less. When an inmate is sentenced to a year or more, they are admitted into the Illinois Prison or Federal Prison System. Inmates in the Cook County Jail are fed three meals a day totaling 2,500 calories, are allowed access to phones to contact friends and family members, are allowed at least one hour a day for exercise, have access to books, bathroom and shower facilities. The inmates are allowed mail to be delivered to them as well as newspapers and magazine from trusted outside publishers.

The other jail facilities in Cook County, Illinois are: Cook County Boot Camp, Cook County Jail - Women's Justice Services. In addition, Cook County houses the following juvenile facilities: Cook County Jail - Mom's Program, Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

On this page you will find direct links to specific information that friends and family members of inmates will find useful: Cook County Inmate Search, Inmate Phone use, Visitation Rules and Schedules, Commissary Deposits and Information about the Cook County Jail Inmate Mail Guidelines. In addition, you will find information on how to contact the facility, directions to the jail, Cook County recent arrests, Most Wanted, outstanding Arrest Warrants and much more.

Cook County Jail Inmate Search

Illinois Cook 10,000
2700 South California
Chicago, IL 60608
Inmate Full Name, Jail ID#
'Division name' or 'number', Cook County Jail
2700 S. California Ave
Chicago, IL 60608

Cook County Jail holds up to 10,000 inmates, admits over 100,000 offenders every year and sits on a property that is almost 100 acres in size.


Call 773-674-5245 to find an inmate's housing location so you set up a visit or click the appropriate link in the directory to the left, or below if you are on mobile. 

The Cook County online inmate search will list your inmate's housing.

You must be on the approved visitor list in order to be allowed to visit with an inmate. Go here for the form.

Jail Exchange has visitation schedules and important information for every Division and sector of the entire jail. 


To add money to inmate's trust account, go here.

Please browse our Cook County Most Wanted, wanted statewide and the thousands of people hunted by the Justice Department. This page will direct you to the Chicago Courts, Illinois Laws, public defender assistance, federal courts, probation, mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines and much more.


Parents in Jail: Getting a Preschool-aged Child Ready to Visit

Preschool-aged children are very attached to their parents. If one of them is suddenly arrested and incarcerated it can cause lots of anxiety. Allowing the child to visit the parent can help alleviate those fears but it is important to explain what's coming with age-appropriate discussions. Talk it over immediately Waiting too long to explain […]

4 Things to Avoid During An Arrest

Only an attorney should advise you of your individual arrest situation but in general, these four suggestions may help stabilize your situation. Don't try and argue your way out. In most cases, by the time the cuffs come out, there is no turning back. Arguing, negotiating, and continuing to try to avoid arrest will do […]

What Type of Arrest Warrants Will Cause Social Security Benefits to Stop?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) can only stop your benefits if the arrest warrant is for a fleeing crime. If there is a warrant for something other than fleeing, it does not qualify for benefit cut off or forced repayment. Historically, the SSA stopped benefits for anyone who had an arrest warrant for any reason. […]

How I Overcame Fear in Jail

Anyone sentenced to jail or prison for the first time is scared. If they tell you otherwise they are either lying or they're mentally ill. Your imagination runs wild and every jailhouse show you have ever seen comes to mind. The first time I went to jail I was only 18, and I went for […]

Jail Visits: Taking the Children With You to See Their Parent Inmate

If you want to take children to a jail visit, it is important that you plan ahead. Children's moods, ages and personalities all play a part in how successful the visit will be. Take these steps to ensure success. Your timing: If you have young children, take their nap times into consideration. Nothing is harder […]

Voting Rights for Felons in Alabama

The state of Alabama allows felons to have their voting rights restored under the following guidelines. You must have completed your entire sentence, including incarceration, probation, and parole, or community supervision. Once completed, you have three options: Contact your local parole or probation office Write to the Board of Pardons and Parole

Getting a Felon's Voting Rights Restored in Hawaii

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights given to American citizens, however, once you've been convicted of a felony, whether or not that right will be restored to you is up to the state that you reside in. The laws for Hawaii include: If You Have Been Charged In Hawaii you maintain your right […]

Getting a Felon's Voting Rights Restored in Louisiana

Voting is one of the most fundamental rights given to American citizens, however, once convicted of a felony, whether or not that right will be restored to you is up to the state that you reside in. The laws for Louisiana include: If You've Been Charged You cannot vote in Louisiana if you are incarcerated […]

Your Rights as a Pregnant Inmate

If you are incarcerated and pregnant, you need to be sure you notify the prison staff immediately. You will be given a pregnancy test to be sure you are expecting. If you are, some changes will be made to accommodate your condition. Each state has its own rules about the treatment of pregnant inmates, but […]

Get a Special Visit If You Live Far From the Jail

The logistics of visiting an inmate who is incarcerated very far from where you live can be tricky. If the jail has very short visits or requires a specific visitation registration processes, it makes it even more difficult. Some jails make exceptions for those who must travel to visit the inmate. How Far is Far? […]

An Inmate Can Meditate to Alleviate Fears in Prison

If someone you know is in prison, you can be sure there is stress involved in that inmate's daily life. Prisons are loud, can be dangerous and there is very little freedom. In addition, simply being sentenced to do time disrupts life with regard to employment, family and other outside obligations. By the time the […]

Bio-chemical treatment for Alcohol Addiction

One method of treatment for alcoholism is the bio-chemical method. While other recovery paths concentrate on powerlessness over addictions and the acceptance of a higher power, the bio-chemical treatment places importance on stabilizing the brain's chemistry. It has long been known that certain brain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins

Can a Deported Immigrant Get Back Into the U.S.?

Typically, once an immigrant is expelled from America, he is not allowed back into the country for any reason before a specific amount of time has passed, but in some instances he will be allowed to come back early if he successfully completes the Hardship Waiver process. What is a Hardship Waiver? A hardship waiver […]

Choosing Which Days to Visit An Inmate

Visitation looks simple on the surface, but keep in mind these details when planning to see your inmate: Commissary: For most inmates, the week revolves around visits and commissary deliveries. If possible plan your visits for the days that commissary is not delivered. This gives the inmate different pleasures throughout the week instead of having […]

Inmate Criminal Charges: Can Inmates get Charged With Crimes in Jail?

In the movies, inmates commit crimes and nothing ever happens to them. In real life, committing a crime in jail will usually get the inmate a new criminal charge. Here is how it works. How will they establish what happened? The jail will investigate any suspected crime, just as if it happened on the outside. […]

Hundreds more 'Straight Up Answers'...

Comment or Ask a Question.
No registration required.

Comments 9

  1. Derrick J.N. Wed, Apr 11 2012 10:41 PM

    Totally cool website for Cook County Jail. How come you don't have any criminal lawyer info on your website?

  2. Admin Sun, Apr 22 2012 12:25 PM

    Jail Exchange understands the importance of an effective Criminal Defense Lawyer and is in the process of adding information regarding lawyers and bail bondsman. It will be added to the section below these comments.

  3. Cook County Jail Inmate Search Thu, May 03 2012 3:06 PM

    To view an informative video on how to find an inmate or useful information within Cook County Jail, click on my name.

  4. Michelle Obama Sun, Sep 23 2012 10:23 AM

    Our jails and prisons are 'over represented' by African-Americans. Never stop talking about it!

  5. Ryan G. Fri, Feb 08 2013 2:11 AM

    I need to search for a criminal warrant in Cook County Illinois. Can I do that on Jail Exchange? I need to find out if someone is wanted right now on a felony warrant here in Cook County.

  6. Cait B. Sat, Feb 09 2013 1:45 AM

    Jail Exchange is awesome! I need to find some information about an inmate in Cook County Jail and it was great to have all the information here in one place so I could do an inmate search and find out all the contact information for Cook County Jail. Thanks guys, you're a lifesaver!

  7. Linda Sun, Feb 10 2013 9:32 AM

    Is there any limit on how much mail I can send to someone at Cook County Jail? My boyfriend is there and I miss him a lot. I want to write him a letter everyday.

  8. Paula Desmond Sat, Feb 16 2013 5:12 AM

    What was the visiting environment like at Cook County Jail? TIA

  9. LoveTheVisit Wed, Feb 12 2014 10:04 PM

    As you would expect. But stay focused on your visit and all will be good.

Post a comment


Visiting an Inmate in the Cook County Jail Facility in Illinois

The Cook County Jail Facility in Illinois (aka the Cook County Department of Corrections or CCDOC) allows inmates to have visits with their family and friends through personal visitations. Visitation is a great way for inmates and their friends and family to stay connected while the inmate is still incarcerated. This opportunity can lift the spirits of the inmate and give him something to look forward to. It also allows the inmate's friends and family keep a relationship with the inmate.

Visitation between inmates and their friends or relatives is allowed; however, there are some guidelines that must be followed in order for this visitation to take place.

  • Before anyone can visit an inmate, they must complete at submit a visitor application to the CCDOC.
  • Minors under the age of 17 don't have to fill out these applications, but when visiting an inmate, they must be accompanied by their approved legal guardian. Also, high school minors under 17 must bear school ID when visiting an inmate.
  • When the application is received, the county will do a background check on the applicant. This could take up to three business days.
  • Once you are approved to make inmate visits, you must have your photo ID ready upon entering the jail.
  • You may be searched for the following items that are not allowed: alcohol, electronics, newspapers, magazines, books, food, pocket knives, cameras, lighters, syringes, cell phones, matches, tobacco products, drinks, music players, tools, drugs, nail clippers, weapons, etc.
  • Bringing the above items into the jail is a felony.
  • To find the visitation schedules, go to http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/doc/doc_visitationmain.html and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page where it says "Visitation Schedules."
  • You can then click on one of the 14 jail divisions to see its visitation times.

The Cook County Jail Facility's website doesn't have any rules listed about behavior and dress code for visitations. Despite this lack of rules, be on your best behavior when visiting an inmate to ensure that you don't do anything to upset the jail supervisors. Don't try to bring purses or backpacks into the visitation rooms, don't wear revealing, inappropriate clothing, refrain from using vulgar language, and try to avoid any other border- line actions.

Stay connected with your friend or family member with personal visits. If you have any questions regarding inmate visitations, call the Sheriff's Office at (312) 603-6444 or stop by at 50 W. Washington in Chicago to obtain the information you're searching for.


RELATED: Cook County Jail Inmate Search

RELATED: Cook County Jail Inmate Services

writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.

return to top

How to use the Inmate Search for Cook County Jail Facility in Illinois

[Article_Ad_2]The Cook County Jail Facility in Illinois (aka the Cook County Department of Corrections or CCDOC), at ninety- six acres, is one of our nation's largest single- site, county, pre- detention holding facilities. The jail's main focus is to hold pre- trial inmates. This jail facility houses around 100,000 inmates per year and holds around 9,000 inmates per day. This number gives you an idea on how many inmates you may be searching through when searching for a specific inmate.

When searching for a particular inmate in the Cook County Jail Facility, there isn't really an extensive process, as in some jails that include entering last names, DOBs, PINs, etc. The search process is actually quite simple.

Here are the steps to searching for and finding someone in the Cook County Jail Facility:

  • Go to http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/doc/doc_main.html. This is the Cook County Sheriff's Office webpage.
  • Look to the left and you will see a series of links. Click the link that is second to the bottom that says "Search for an Inmate."
  • You will then be navigated to a page titled "Inmate Locator."
  • Scroll down this page until you see the subtitle that says "Search by Name."
  • Here you will be able to search for inmates by entering their last and, optionally, first name.
  • If you read down a few more lines, you'll also be able to search for inmates by their booking number.
  • Once you have entered either the inmate's name or booking number, you will be given results that match your search.
  • These results will tell you the inmate's first and last name, jail ID number, date of birth, race, gender, and "view details."
  • "View details" is a link that you can click to find out even more information about the inmate, including, but not limited to inmate booking number, housing location, court dates, bail amount, etc.

If you're not having much luck finding the person you are looking for, it is possible that that person was just recently incarcerated or recently released, and the inmate list hasn't been updated since then. If this is the case, call the Cook County Jail Facility at (312) 603-6444 or stop by at 50 W. Washington in Chicago to obtain the information you're searching for.

The search method in the Cook County Jail Facility is quite simple compared to other jail facilities that make the process much more complicated. However, the list of inmates will always be changing, so keep that in mind when searching for a specific inmate.


RELATED: Cook County Jail Inmate Search

RELATED: Cook County Jail Inmate Services

writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.

return to top

Communicating with an Inmate Housed at the Cook County Jail Facility in Illinois

Communication is the key to keeping up with your friend or family member while they're incarcerated. This can usually be done through mail and phone calls. This mail and phone calls will not only keep your relationship strong, but it will also give the inmate something to look forward to and give you the feeling that your loved one is still with you.

The Cook County Jail Facility in Illinois allows inmates to send and receive mail. However, there are some strict rules that need to be followed in order for the inmate to be allowed to send and receive this mail.

  • The following items are considered contraband and may not be sent to inmates: tape, aerosol cans, bar soap, batteries, candy, cigarettes and cigars, lighters and matches, clothing, cosmetics, credit cards, dental floss, toothpaste, food,  foreign or illegal substance, glass objects, wood objects, metal objects, glue, hair brushes, combs, picks, ID cards, jewelry, keys, maps, marking pens, medicine or medical supplies, money orders over $100.00, money orders not properly filled out, nail files and clippers, paint, paint brushes, paint solvents, pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, pictures showing weapons, pictures showing money, pictures showing gang signs, playing cards, puzzles, plastic sentiment, musical cards, very large cards, polaroid instant pictures with double backing, postage stamps, posters, radios, tape players, TVs, rollers, bobby pins, clips, plastic caps, stickers, decals, patches, towels, twine, wire, and any other binding material.
  • This list is a guideline. It does not limit a staff member from confiscating any item that could be considered a threat to the security or safety of the institution.
  • The jail reserves the right to prohibit any other items that could be considered contraband or could threaten the safety and security of the jail, its employees, and visitors.
  • Repeated attempts to send an inmate contraband will constitute disciplinary action against the inmate, and the matter may even be referred to the Cook County State's Attorney for possible criminal charging of the sender and/ or the inmate.
  • Paperback books and magazines are limited to 3 per mailing.
  • Inmates are not allowed to correspond with other inmates of other correctional institutions without pre-approval.

Most jails allow inmates to make phone calls as another way to communicate with their friends and family; however, the Cook County Jail Facility's website currently has no information on inmate calling (09/16/13). If you'd like to receive information on the possibility of inmate calls, contact the Sheriff's Office at (312) 603-6444 to receive the answers you're looking for.

Be sure to follow the rules when sending mail and possibly taking phone calls from inmates. These forms of communication are privileges, not rights. If you have any questions regarding communication with an inmate, contact the Sheriff's Office at (312) 603-6444.


RELATED: Cook County Jail Inmate Search

RELATED: Cook County Jail Inmate Services

writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.

return to top

© 2014 Johnny Ex, Inc. All rights reserved.