CHICAGO | People who were supposed to be released from the Cook County Jail on Monday may have wound up spending an extra day or so in custody due to the severe weather conditions.
Dangerously cold weather caused the Cook County sheriff’s police to declare that inmates were not permitted visitors on either Monday or Tuesday.
But Ben Breit, a spokesman for the sheriff’s police, said inmates who were supposed to be released Monday, either by posting bond or completing their sentences, were all informed they could choose to remain in the jail for an extra day or two until weather conditions improve.
He could not say on Monday how many people chose to take advantage of the offer.
Breit said that people with a family member or friend due to be released from the jail should call (773) 674-6618 to make arrangements to pick the person up.
“We don’t want to release people in this weather, then find out that they had no way of getting home,” Breit said, adding that some of the county jail inmates do not have a specific place to go.
“We gave them the option of extending their stay” in the jail, with Breit saying the final choice was up to the jail inmate.
Aside from that, Cook County Sheriff’s Police officials said Monday was not an exceptional day.
The sheriff was able to transport all jail inmates who had scheduled court dates to the various suburban courthouses.
Breit said most of the incidents in unincorporated Cook County involved auto accidents where a vehicle slid off the road. None resulted in injuries or major damage to any vehicles.
“We didn’t have problems because we were well prepared, we were given enough warning to be ready for this,” Breit said. “It really was business as usual."