The information below provides complete instructions regarding the Cook County Jail Inmate Accounts and Deposits, Commissary Information, Depositing Money Online (where available), Mailing Inmate Money or Care Packages to the jail in Chicago, Illinois.
Follow these instructions exactly to help ensure that your inmate has access to commissary, and in some cases medical and bail money, as soon as possible.
Since inmates are not allowed to possess cash money while in custody in the Cook County Jail, the jail maintains a 'bank account' for the inmate to purchase products and services from their commissary (canteen) store.
Inmates at Cook County jail use commissary funds to purchase snacks, personal hygiene items and stationery supplies to supplement what is provided by the Department of Corrections.
Examples of items that can be purchased include:
Anyone who has access to the U.S. postal service, Internet, a phone or a Western Union/Money Gram agent can deposit money to an inmate’s account as long as there isn’t a no-contact order in place.
Because of the ability for family members and friends to deposit money online using a credit or debit card, jail inmates can now receive funds from anywhere in the world.
There are usually four choices for putting money on an inmate's books:
Dropping Money at the Jail
Cook County contracts with AccessCorrections.com to allow you to make deposits by phone.
You must have an account with Access Corrections to use this feature. Your free account can be set up by clicking here.
Or you can do it by phone by calling (866) 345-1884 and follow the prompts. A customer service representative will come on the line to open an account for you.
Once you have an account, you can make future deposits by calling the above phone number, inputting your Access Corrections account number and following the prompts. You must have the inmate’s jail booking number and first and last name to do this. You must also have a debit or credit card of your own or permission to use someone else’s.
If you can't get your questions answered online call the Cook County Jail at 773-869-7100.
Click here to find out more about making a deposit over the phone.
Cook County Jail uses Access Corrections to process online deposits to an inmate’s account.
You must first register for an Access Corrections account. There is no charge to do so. Click here to get started.
Choose the “click here to register” option. You will be asked to provide basic information such as your name, address, email and phone.
After the account is open, you must add the inmate you wish to send money to. Click on Secure Deposit and a new window will open. Select the state and facility for your inmate and add.
Now you are ready to send funds to that inmate. You can list additional inmates as well.
To deposit funds, click here to log-in.
Choose Secure Deposit
Choose the inmate from your list that you want to deposit money to.
Input the amount – there is a $300 limit on each deposit.
Type in billing information and debit card/credit card information.
View total amount (Access Corrections charges a small fee for each deposit).
Click submit to deposit the funds.
Click here or here to reach the online site for depositing funds. You will need to register an account, which is free to do and use a debit/credit card for the deposits.
Mailing a deposit takes more time to process than the other methods but can be done if you live too far away to bring it in person and you don't have a debit/credit card for online deposits. Never send cash. Always send a Money Order from the US Post Office, a reputable bank or Western Union.
Make the Money Order out to the inmate's name and put their Inmate ID# in memo section of the Money Order.
Click here to view how to make the commissary money order out and where to send it.
You can also wire the funds directly into the inmate’s account by using either:
Money gram – Code #1750/Cook County Jail
Western Union -Code Cite-CCDOC/State-IL
Fill in all other corresponding blanks with the inmate’s name and identification number. The inmate’s name must be spelled exactly like it is on the jail website.
Cook County Jail staff strongly urges friends and family members to utilize the Internet, the phone or U.S. mail service to make deposits to an inmate account.
Its website does not provide information or an address to drop money off at the jail.
Anyone wishing to drop money off in person must speak with a jail social worker, explain your situation and request special permission to drop the funds at the jail.
If the social worker approves your request, you will be told in what form it must be (money order or cash), where to bring it and during what hours they agree to accept it.
People who have never been to jail would be surprised by the large amount of candy, snacks, art supplies, playing cards, hygiene products and clothing that can be purchased through a jail's commissary. Some jails have several hundred different items.
The Cook County Jail Commissary Instructions and Information can be found here. If you need more information contact the jail by calling 773-869-7100.
Some jails have contract agreements with third party Commissary companies that ship predetermined Care Packages of candy and snacks.
These can be ordered by you online and are delivered directly to the inmate.
Click here to see if Cook County participates in a care package program.
Access Corrections allows you to deposit up to $300 at a time for a Cook County Jail inmate.
The inmates have a $100 a week spending limit.
Call Cook County Jail at 773-869-7100 or click here to learn the Inmate Account deposit limits and other rules regarding depositing money on an inmate's books.
Many jails debit (charge) an inmate's commissary accounts for medical visits, any medications including over-the-counter pain reliever, jail stay fees, restitution, etc.
Taking this into consideration when deciding how much to deposit will ensure the inmate gets the amount you wanted him to have after things are deducted.
A quick call to the Cook County Jail at 773-869-7100 will let you know how much - if any - is deducted from the books for each fee related to medical issues or other jail expenses.
Online you can find the medical fee information by going here, Other Cook County Jail fees can be determined by going here or calling 773-869-7100.
Call the Cook County Jail at 773-869-7100 and ask how you can view a commissary list. This gives you an idea of what things cost the inmate and you can make an informed decision regarding how much to deposit.
Not surprisingly much of an inmate's commissary money is used to purchase item's to pay gambling debts or purchase prescription medicine from another inmate. If your inmate is spending more than $3-4.00 a day on commissary items, you are paying for him or her to gamble or buy drugs.
Put your financial needs first and the inmate's second. Don't forget, the inmate is getting three free 2,000 calorie meals a day. The food may not be of the highest quality, but the commissary food is generally much less nutritious.
Click here to view the jail website for additional information.