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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 […]

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 […]

Fun Ideas to Mail to Your Inmate

Mail is a great way to communicate with your inmate. In addition to serious letters, here are some fun ways to amuse each other through the mail. These can be done on postcards or letters. Top 10 Each of you make a list of your favorite five things about the other person and also write […]

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 […]

Consequences of Providing Contraband to an Inmate

It is never a good idea to mail contraband to an inmate or to bring it on a visit. The consequences for such actions are serious not only for the inmate, but also for you. What is Contraband? Contraband is anything that inmates are not allowed to have in their possession. Obvious examples are weapons, […]

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 […]

Cost Effective Ways to Visit an Inmate

The expenses of traveling to visit your inmate can add up quickly. These cost saving measures will make it less painful for your budget. Traveling by car Gas up early Gas up on a weekday. Many gas stations raise the price of a gallon shortly before the weekend. Filling up the tank on a weekday, […]

Maine Marijuana Laws: Decriminalized but Still Tricky

Decriminalizing Pot doesn't always mean it is completely legal. Here are some current guidelines. Possession Unlike several other states that chose an ounce as the cutoff for a civil penalty, Maine allows you to possess up to 2.5 ounces and still receive a civil ticket. The fine is a flat $600 regardless of the amount. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Solitary Confinement for Teenagers is a Bad Idea. Here's What We Can Do About It.

Inhumane disciplinary isolation for incarcerated children is causing suicides and other harm. All who believe that teenagers deserve special attention at their time of need will be interested in the recommendations in this New York Times piece. Read about it here: End Solitary Confinement for Teenagers

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 […]

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

Can I Visit an Inmate if I am on Probation or Parole?

A friend or family member has been arrested and this has created chaos and stress. Before you race off to visit him or her in jail, if you are on probation or parole you need to take the following steps. Find out the Rules Some jails will not allow anyone on probation or parole to […]

Hundreds more 'Straight Up Answers'...

Cook County Jail Division 17 Inmate Phone Use

Women's Justice Program's

3015 S. California Blvd.
Chicago,
Illinois
60608
Cook County
Main Phone: 773-869-7100
Beds: 10,000
The information below provides complete instructions regarding Cook County Jail Division 17 inmate phone use, how the jail phone system works, purchasing phone time online (where available), purchasing phone time over the phone online (where available), purchasing phone credits through commissary (where available) and setting up an account to reduce your cost of inmate phone calls from the Cook County Jail Division 17 in Chicago, Illinois.

When available, the information below will explain how to communicate with your inmate using the jail's secure email message system.

Follow these instructions exactly to help ensure that your inmate has access to the jail phones and your communication costs are reduced as much as possible.

Can I Phone An Inmate At The Cook County Jail Division 17?

No. Neither this jail nor any other jail allows you to directly phone an inmate.



Can I Leave A Message For An Inmate At Cook County Jail Division 17?

Cook County Jail Division 17 does not allow inmates to receive messages unless there is a family emergency such as a death in the family.

If an immediate family member of an inmate passes away:

Call the jail’s main number: 773-674-7100

Press 8 (DOC Main Menu)

Press 3 (Social Services Department)

Give them the information and they will arrange for the inmate to be given the message and in some cases, allowed to call a family member to receive additional information. The jail can require proof of the death before passing any message to the inmate.

Many jails are now contracting with a third party service (for a fee) which allows you to leave a recorded phone message for an inmate.

To see if the Cook County Jail Division 17 has this service, go here or call 773-869-7100.



How Does An Inmate Make A Phone Call From Cook County Jail Division 17?

Traditional Collect Calls to Landlines

Traditional collect calls to landlines are allowed from Cook County Jail Division 17 as long as the receiving party does not have a collect call block on their service.  In some cases, even if the intended recipient of the collect call is willing to pay the charges, the phone service the recipient uses blocks all collect calls from penal facilities.

The recipient will be charged $2.49 a month on their phone bill, in addition to the charges per minute for collect calls. Some companies require a credit check and/or deposit before collect calls are approved on that account.

Prepaid Phone Cards to Landlines and Cell Phones

Inmates can purchase prepaid calling cards from commissary and use them to make calls.

The cost for each call is $1.75 per minute and there is typically a per call connection fee.

Phone companies that block calls from penal facilities do not interfere with calls made using prepaid phone cards.

AdvanceCorrections.com also known as Securustech.net

Cook County also contracts with AdvanceCorrections/Securus to process inmate prepaid calls.

Advance connect is a prepaid phone system. You open and put money on the refillable account and the inmate calls collect. You always have the option to accept or decline the call. The cost of each call is deducted from your prepaid account balance.

Benefits of AdvanceConnect:
You control how much you spend on calls with how much money you put on the account

You can receive collect calls from the inmate even if your regular phone company blocks calls from jails/prisons

The inmate can also call you on your cell phone (as long as the jail/prison doesn’t restrict it)

There is a minimum $25 requirement each time you add funds to the account

Calculate the cost of a call by clicking here.

You can pay by:

Credit/Debit Card Online or By Phone

MoneyGram

Pay By Mail for AdvanceConnect) Mail check, money order or cashier’s check to Mail to:

Securus Correctional Billing Services

PO Box 650757

Dallas, TX  75265-0757

Be sure to include the phone number and AdvanceConnect account number on the memo line.

Western Union

Click here to open an account.

Direct Billing

With Direct Billing, you can accept collect calls from an inmate and Securus Correctional Billing Services will bill you each month. You must have approved credit to open this type of an account.
Benefits of a Direct Bill account include:

Can connect several phones to the account so you can receive calls in multiple settings

Written monthly statements of call activities

No minimum amounts

You can receive as many calls as you wish as long as you pay the bill in full each month

Your Direct Bill account balance can be paid by:

Credit/Debit Card Online or By Phone

MoneyGram

Pay By Mail for Direct Bill

Western Union

Traditional Collect Calls

The traditional collect call method is good if you will only receive inmate calls on house phones or other landlines. Some phone providers block all calls from penal institutions but if your company allows them:

Your account will be automatically created as soon as you accept the first call from a jail/prison

Your account number is your phone number

You will receive a 90 day rolling spending limit

Your charges will appear on your next phone bill

Limitations: You are subjected to a 90-day rolling limit on spending. When you accept the call, the charges will be deducted from that available limit and Securus submits the charges to your phone company. If you exceed your 90 day limit within the rolling 90 days, your Direct Billing account is blocked until your charges roll off through payment of your phone bill.  You will still be able to receive other phone calls during this time, just no calls from penal institutions.

Click here to learn more about Traditional Collect Calls and how to set up the account.

Inmate Debit

An inmate debit account gives the inmate a prepaid phone account that can be used for calls. Many jails/prisons allow inmates to transfer money from their jail/commissary accounts to their inmate debit accounts to pay for calls. Friends and families are also typically allowed to help fund those accounts. There is a $7.95 fee each time you fund the account. You can deposit $0.01 - $100.00 each time.

Benefits

The inmate can call anyone who is approved on their call list without requiring each of those people to set up their own prepaid phone accounts

You can deposit money to an inmate’s phone account without having to set up your own account

Calls can be made to cell phones (as long as the jail/prison does not restrict it).

Click here to see if an inmate has an account set up and to deposit money to it. 

The following payment methods are accepted for Inmate Debit accounts:

Credit/Debit Card Online or By Phone

MoneyGram for Inmate Debit

Pay By Mail Inmate Debit

Pay By Mail for AdvanceConnect) Mail check, money order or cashier’s check to Mail to:

Securus Correctional Billing Services

PO Box 650757

Dallas, TX  75265-0757



Can An Inmate Use A Cell Phone While In Cook County Jail Division 17?

No. Inmates are not allowed cell phones in Cook County Jail Division 17, although getting access to a cell phone in jail has become more common.

Some states such as California have made it a criminal offense to use and possess a cell phone and will file additional charges when it can be connected to an inmate. Cell phones are most often smuggled into the jail and then sold to the inmates by jail staff.



Can I Communicate By Email With An Inmate?

A growing number of jails now offer email services to inmates and their families. This can save you time by letting you view your email from your smart phone, computer, or tablet, whenever you wish.

You don't have to deal with envelopes, stamps or the post office.

Inmates like it because the emails typically eliminate delayed mail runs so they can get your correspondence quickly and send responses immediately.

Jail staffs like it as it eliminates concerns about contraband entering the facility in envelopes and on paper. It also allows the jail to have an electronic record that can be called upon at any time.

Anything you or your inmate writes in an email service is put through a filtering program that looks for certain words related to criminal and/or gang activities.

There have been multiple cases in which emails between inmates and their friends or loved ones have been used as evidence in criminal court cases to convict them or to file new charges.

At this time, Cook County Jail does not participate in an email to inmate program, however, this policy could change without notice.

Call 773-869-7100 or click here to see if email services are being offered at this jail and if so, how to sign up you and your inmate.



Important Tips About Jail Phone Calls

If you were unable to find the information you were looking for on this page, call Cook County Jail Division 17 at 773-869-7100 and ask their policies on getting phone calls from your inmate.

Many jails and prisons are increasingly restricting the amount of time that an inmate can use the phone by placing daily and monthly limits, so try to pace yourself and not use up all your time at the beginning of the month.

Jails limit an inmate's phone time to certain hours of the day, so it is important you keep a regular schedule that works for both you and your inmate.

If your inmate does not call you during the time you both have scheduled, don't panic. There are often long lines for phone use. When a jail is on lockdown due to a fight or other security issue they do not allow the phones to be used.

Phones are the only way for an inmate to hear your voice and temporarily 'escape' the loneliness of incarceration, so use your time well. Arguing about anything will leave you both feeling empty and guilty, so avoid it at all costs.

All phone conversations are recorded. Whatever you talk about, can and will be used against your inmate in court. Never discuss their pending criminal case!

Click here to view the jail website for additional information. 

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