The information below provides complete instructions regarding Cook County Jail Visiting Hours and Visitation Schedule, Visiting Rules, Inmate Video Visits and Jail Visitation process in Chicago, Illinois.
Following these instructions exactly will enhance your chances of getting official approval to visit an inmate.
It is highly recommended that prior to an inmate visit you call the jail at 773-869-7100 to confirm that visits have not been cancelled.
– Then scroll to the bottom of the page, put in the inmate's first and last name OR jail ID number, and you will be taken to an application page. Fill it out completely. Incomplete applications are rejected.
Submit the application online or print it and take it to any Cook County courthouse to turn in.
Wait 3-4 business days (weekends and holidays don't count), then call (773) 674-5225 to find out if you are approved for visits.
If you are told you've been approved, before hanging up, ask which division your inmate is in and what his two days per week are for visitation. (Visits will be one weekday and one weekend day each week).
Decide which of those two days you will visit. (You can only visit once a week). Arrive at the jail as early as possible to avoid the crowd. Go through the drug detection machine, the metal detector, and send your purse or bag through x-ray.
When your name is called, you will be guided to the visiting area and allowed a 15-minute visit while seeing the inmate through plexiglass.
Anyone over the age of 18, who isn't on felony probation and can produce a valid government-issued photo ID can be approved to visit an inmate in this jail.
Visitation applicants in Cook County must sometimes submit to a background check. Those with warrants are denied visitation or if allowed to visit, will be arrested at the jail.
Jails limit the number of people that can visit an inmate to two adults each visit.
Children under age 18 must be accompanied by the parent or legal guardian.
Call 773-869-7100 to ask specific questions about this policy or click here for any updates to this policy.
It is likely that the Cook County Jail will deny visitation to anyone with a past felony conviction regardless of probation/parole status. Call 773-869-7100 prior to arriving for the specific jail guideline regarding your legal status.
If you are a co-defendant with the inmate in a pending case, your visit will be denied.
If you and the inmate are under a court order to have no contact with each other, your visit will be denied.
The Cook County Jail reserves the right to deny any person the right to enter the jail it chooses and for any reason.
Cook County Jail requires all visitors to fill out an application prior to your visiting an inmate.
Carefully fill out the application. Incomplete paperwork is cause for denial.
Honesty, especially regarding past criminal convictions, probation etc., is important. These things will most likely show up on the background check – which if lied about on the application, will cause visits to be denied.
Call 773-869-7100 to ask specific questions about the application.
Click here to go to the jail's website for more information about the application process.
The actual visiting hours vary depending on the following factors:
The day of the week.
Where the inmate is housed.
The inmate's sex.
Whether or not it is a Holiday.
Each inmate is allowed one or two visits, ranging from 15 minutes
to one hour in length each week. Inmates with special privileges are
allowed additional visits.
If you are visiting from another state or traveling a great distance, Cook County Jail may allow you an extended visitation. Call 773-869-7100 to ask for special consideration.
Call 773-869-7100 or click here to view normal visiting hours and procedures for scheduling a visit.
The Cook County Jail staff will turn anyone away who is not dressed appropriately for a visit.
The best way to be sure the visit takes place is to dress as if you are meeting someone's grandmother for the first time.
Wear clothes that are not revealing.
Don't wear see-through material.
Have all undergarments covered (males and females) and avoid a lot of cleavage.
Shorts and skirts should reach mid-thigh.
Sleeves should be at least half-way to your elbow.
The following types of clothing are also prohibited:
Clothing promoting gang affiliation.
Anything displaying drugs, weapons or profanity.
Clothing depicting anything obscene.
Call 773-869-7100 to ask specific questions about the Cook County Jail Visitation Dress Code guidelines or click here for complete instructions.
Jail visits are conducted in person behind plexi-glass or on a televised screen from another location.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and guardians must provide proof of their guardianship.
Leave all personal belongings, except for your state ID in your vehicle or in a locker (if one is provided).
Children must be monitored at all times or jail staff will end the visit early.
Call 773-869-7100 or click here to go to the jail's official website for additional Rules regarding Cook County Jail visitation.
Many jails are implementing video visits. These visits are conducted via the Internet on computers, IPADS and Smart phones.
Video visits allow the visit to take place in the privacy of your own home. Some family members 'take their inmate with them' to church, the park, the doctor or anywhere else simply by signing in and bringing the device along.
Video visits save you from having to get your children ready, drive to the jail, wait in long lines and go through security checkpoints just to see the inmate.
Video visitation is slowly gaining favor with all jails in America as jail management realizes the financial savings and reduced security risks involved with remote visitation.
Click here to see if video visitation is now available at Cook County Jail – as well as to view the complete set of rules, the cost to you and how to get set up online.