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How to Send a Book to an Inmate

Almost all jails and prisons require that books be sent to inmates directly from the publisher or a reputable online vendor, such as Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. This requirement actually makes it simpler for you because you can compare prices easily and avoid shopping trips away from home or work and packaging time. How to Order […]

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 […]

Why The Male Model Doesn't Work for Women Inmates

This is content sponsored by Netflix (producers of Orange Is The New Black) for the New York Times. There are some interesting facts and a few videos worth watching if you are concerned with the incarceration of women and the related issues.   Women serving time in American prisons

When 12-Step Programs Don't Work For You

The 12-Step program is not the only method used in rehabs to assist addicts in getting clean and living sober lifestyles. Some rehabs accomplish the same goals through the following means: Medication Medications are available to assist with addiction. For Opiate addicts, the medication blocks Opiate cravings and in some cases will cause you to […]

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 […]

Why Commissary is Important

Commissary funds are deposited to an inmate's account so he or she can purchase personal hygiene items, stationery supplies and snacks. Some lists also offer clothing, electronics, books and phone cards, among other things. A Relief from Hunger Inmates are typically fed two to three meals a day. The ingredients are high in calorie and […]

He is a Drug Addict, but he Keeps Passing Drug Tests – How?

The probation department has the ability to send a test off to be examined for tampering, but you don't have those same connections. Understanding how they can be cheated will help you test him more effectively. Related: How do America's drug courts work? The Houdini switch Drug users have this down to a science. Everyone […]

Pregnant and Imprisoned

My name is Ashley. My probation officer violated me and had me sent to jail for three months. I was four months pregnant at the time. When I got to the jail, I told them I was pregnant, and they had me see a nurse practitioner right away who set up an appointment for an […]

How To Keep an Inmate Involved in the Lives of the Children

One of the hardest things for an inmate to deal with is being removed from his or her children. Not being there for daily routines means missing out on much of the child's development and preparation for life. These easy steps will keep your inmate connected and active in the lives of the children. Phone […]

Massachusetts Marijuana Laws

Decriminalizing Marijuana doesn't always mean it is completely legal. In some cases, such as in Massachusetts, possession of less than an ounce is no longer a crime but is now a civil offense. Possession It is a civil offense to possess one ounce or less of Marijuana. If found guilty the fine is $100. In […]

Coordinating Inmate Visitation To Minimize Conflicts

Most jails allow three to five visitors to see an inmate at the same time. Problems can come about when too many people want to be there simultaneously. Managing the visitation schedule will reduce stress and insure that your inmate gets to see everyone. Check Visitation Rules Some jails will allow people to split visits […]

What Info Can I Get From An Inmate Search?

Nothing is scarier than a missing person. You're frantic to find out what happened. Then it hits you: Maybe your loved one got arrested. Many jails have websites that allow you to look up inmates currently in custody. Some even list those who were booked and recently released. But an inmate search can tell you […]

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

What if an Inmate Becomes Terminally Ill?

You were handling your husband's incarceration by visiting once a month, writing constantly, and hearing him out during phone calls. Recently he was declared terminally ill, and all you want now is to spend his last few months with him, and you're hoping he can pass surrounded by family. In some states this is becoming […]

4 Things to Tell Young Kids When Dad is In Jail

While your husband is incarcerated, your children will want to know what has happened. These four things can ease their mind without burdening them. Explain why he went. Without being specific about the exact crime he is accused of, you can tell the children that the judge thinks their dad broke the law and he […]

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Cook County Jail Division 1 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 2 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 3 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 4 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 5 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 6 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 8 RTU Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 9 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 10 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 11 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 14 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Division 17 Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail Cermak Hospital Visiting Hours & Schedules
Cook County Jail VRIC Visiting Hours & Schedules

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.

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.

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.


What Does a 15 Years to Life Sentence Mean?

A sentence of 15 years to life, 25 years to life or similar sounding words all mean the same thing. The only difference is the time frame. What the Number Means The number in the sentence indicates the minimum number of years the inmate must serve before he or she can be considered for parole. […]

How to find out if you've been a Victim of Fraud

In most cases of fraud, the victim's identity is stolen and unauthorized purchases are made. News stories report victims making the discovery after they are thousands of dollars in debt for things they never purchased. There are usually signs before it gets to that point, but you have to know what to look for. Obtain […]

What is an Inmate Money or Commissary Account?

Most jails and prisons in America allow friends and family members of inmates to make deposits to inmate money accounts. They are set up to give the inmate access to various services including commissary purchases and phone use. Some facilities deduct nominal amounts from these accounts for inmate health visits and other jail fees. Commissary […]

What is an Interstate Compact Agreement for a Felon?

An Interstate Compact request made while you are on probation or parole can take a long time, but there is no other way to have your supervision transferred from one state to another without it. Here are some of the basics that apply to most cases. Your probation/parole officer does not have to agree to […]

Finding Employment After Prison

Many companies will not interview a felon, much less hire one. While this is true and it can make life on the outside difficult, finding employment after prison can be done if you take the right steps. Career Centers Goodwill has set up a nationwide career center program to help underemployed and unemployed people and […]

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 […]

A Bath Salt Addict Describes Why She Gave Them Up

How did you discover bath salts? I was on probation and my probation officer was giving me random drug tests. A friend told me that the current drug screens being used in my county didn't check for bath salts so it would be a high that I couldn't be violated for. I decided to try […]

How to Survive Prison

Most people know the importance of working out and staying physically fit to survive prison, but mental strength and attitude play a huge role in getting through incarceration. Expand Your Skills If the prison offers classes, sign up for some. Whether it is music lessons, anger management or business math, anything you learn is something […]

What's the Difference between Jails and Prisons?

Both jails and prisons house inmates but there are some important differences in what the two institutions are used for. Sentenced or Not? People accused of crimes but not yet convicted are held in county or city jails. In some cases, a bond amount is set and if the defendant can pay it he or […]

Best Days for Inmate Phone Calls

As much as you would like to talk to your inmate each day, the cost of inmate phone calls makes this impossible for most people. If your budget can only handle a couple of calls a week, tell your inmate to call you on Thursdays and Sundays. Thursday Thursday phone calls give you almost the […]

The Truth about Prison Phone Calls

Your inmate needs to stay connected to friends and family. While lots of information can be shared on the phone, precautions must be taken so that everyone involved can avoid having future problems. Phone Calls are Recorded If your inmate wants to discuss the case with you by phone, use extreme caution going forward. The […]

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 […]

Can a Felon Possess a Gun In Illinois?

Illinois law allows certain convicted felons to own or possess guns. Federal law still makes it a crime, and in some cases the feds have pursued prosecution in states that allow it. Only an attorney should advise you on this matter but the basics of Illinois laws are as follows: Your rights can be restored […]

Restrictions on Greeting Cards for Inmates

Understanding what jails mean by "plain" cards and why they require them helps ensure your inmate's holiday or greeting cards arrive on time. The facility's website might have a vague statement about only sending "plain" cards, or there might be no instruction at all. It is only when your card is returned unopened to you […]

The Three Most Dangerous Prisons in America

There are many factors that go into choosing the most dangerous prisons in the USA. The media spotlights isolated cases of prison violence, which makes that facility seem dangerous. The fact is there is danger in every prison, but some are more notorious for San Quentin State Prison: San Rafael, California There are more death […]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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