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Skip Navigation LinksCounty Jails > Illinois > Cook > Cook County Jail > Cook-County-Jail-VRIC-Inmate-Phone-Use

Cook County Jail VRIC Inmate Phone Use

Vocational Rehabilitation Impact Center
2801 S. Rockwell Street
Chicago,
Illinois
60608
Cook County
Main Phone: 773-869-7100
Beds: 10,000
The information below provides complete instructions regarding Cook County Jail VRIC 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 VRIC 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 VRIC?

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 VRIC?

Cook County Jail VRIC 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 VRIC has this service, go here or call 773-869-7100.



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

Traditional Collect Calls to Landlines

Traditional collect calls to landlines are allowed from Cook County Jail VRIC 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 VRIC?

No. Inmates are not allowed cell phones in Cook County Jail VRIC, 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 VRIC 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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