The Sangamon County Jail (Detention Facility) was opened in October of 1991 after nearly four years of planning and construction. It is a state of the art facility utilizing a podular indirect supervision design, with the capability of direct supervision in four of the major cellblocks. The facility is capable of housing a maximum of 314 inmates. These inmates are housed, based on security level, from a dormitory type area for work release and trustees to single cells for maximum-security inmates. The detention facility houses three basic types of persons: those who are awaiting bond or trial; those who have been sentenced to serve time; and those who are being held for other agencies, such as federal inmates and illegal immigrants. The average daily population in this facility is around 300 inmates of which about 10% are female.
Inmates in the facility are provided with the essentials of life, including clothing, meals, hygiene items, and medical services. In addition, extra services such as a facility barber, psychiatric examination, the ability to purchase items from commissary, and numerous programs offer the inmates outlets to minimize problems between the inmate population and staff.
Inmates must pay for many services, such as the barber and commissary. They are allowed to have unlimited funds on their account. Family and friends may place money on an inmate account daily between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This is done in the main lobby area of the facility. Additionally money, in the form of a money order, may be sent through the mail. Virtually all of the inmate’s needs are supplied by the facility. Therefore, very few items are allowed to come into the facility from the outside. The only clothing items that are allowed to be brought in, without special permission, are clothes that would be used in a trial appearance. All other items, such as educational material, medicines, etc., must have the approval of the facility administration. When an inmate is transferred from pre-arraignment to general population items, of bedding, facility clothing, and a hygiene kit are issued. This includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, and washcloth. To supplement these basics inmates may purchase a host of items off the facility commissary. These items include candy, potato chips, undergarments, tennis shoes, and a large list of personal hygiene and grooming supplies. In addition, the facility barber performs weekly haircuts, which is charged to the inmate’s account.
Medical services are not denied any inmate in the facility. There is a medical screening performed as the person enters the facility, and a full physical completed by medical staff within the first fourteen days of incarceration. Sick call is performed daily by qualified medical personnel and treatment provided. If the inmate is deemed too ill to be housed in general population, the facility has a six-bed medical ward to accommodate their needs.
A number of facility programs have been made available to the inmates. These include, but are not limited to, Alcoholics Anonymous, PORA, GED testing as funding allows, recreation, library services, and church services. In addition, work crews from the facility go out into the community and perform services.
The inmates of the facility are supervised by a staff of 72 Correctional Officers and 27 Control Room Operators. The staff is thoroughly trained in the handling of inmates and in response to emergency situations. Officers must undergo a basic training course of five weeks, which is supplemented by ongoing training.
How to call an inmate?
Telephones are placed in every cellblock in the facility. Inmates are allowed to make as many calls daily as they wish, providing the calls are collect. Other options for inmates are to purchase calling cards from the facility, or place money on a debit account. A $5.00 card will allow ten minutes of calls and the inmate may purchase any number of these cards weekly. Incoming calls for inmates are strictly forbidden.
How to visit an inmate?
Visitation for inmates in the facility is held at four different time periods weekly. The visits run from 20 to 25 minutes in length and are monitored. Each inmate may have up to two visits per week, with one of those occurring on a weekend. For visitation times for any particular inmate call (217) 753-6886.
How to send mail to an inmate?
Inmates are allowed to receive and send mail to family, friends and legal representatives. Incoming mail must have the facility address and the inmate’s name clearly shown. This mail may be subject to inspection for contraband prior to delivery to the inmate. Inmates may send as many letters out as they wish, providing they have the funds to do so.