Saturday, August 20, 2011

Disparity in jail visiting hours

I was contacted this week by a person in Germany who was searching the internet for a friend with whom she had lost contact more than a year ago. Somehow, she came across the ICE Inmate Locator website and learned that he was in the McHenry County Jail.

She found my name in connection with jail, because of the number of articles I have written about the McHenry County Jail and the Sheriff's Department, and she emailed me. I was able to furnish her with information about contacting her friend. I also provided her with information about the Secure Inmate Email System, by which email can be sent to inmates and detainees at the McHenry County Jail.

That information could be on the Sheriff's website (, but it's not.

This caused me to inspect the visiting hours of the jail. To my surprise, I found that male inmates can be visited during 38 hours of a week (excluding Thursdays), and female inmates can be visited during only 11.5 hours of the week. Women can have visitors on Saturday (2 hours), Sunday (2 hours) and during 7.5 hours on Thursday, although 4.5 of those hours are during the work day.

Because all visits are by video-conferencing (and not face-to-face, in-person), I wonder whether the women inmates could benefit from more visiting hours.

If you want to send email to an inmate or detainee, you must know their Inmate Number. You can get that by calling the Jail at 815.338.9396. Press "8" to reach a corrections officer to ask for the Inmate Number. Then go to, set up an account, put a little money in it, and email for 50¢ per page.


Cal Skinner said...

At many of the larger Illinois county jails, one can find out who is there online.

I did a McHenry County Blog story on it that still gets hits from people, I assume don't know they have to call the jail.

Gus said...

With hundreds of inmates and detainees and millions of dollars in revenue from Hotel Nygren, you'd think that MCSD would come into the Space Age and put names and ID numbers online.

tiredofthenonsense said...

Easiest way to feel good. You do it. You seem to have all the time, knowledge and answers to make this happen. You do it. said...

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