Cook County Jail On Lockdown For Blizzard

CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Jail will be placed on lockdown for at least 24 hours in anticipation of the blizzard heading for the Chicago area.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart issued a statement Tuesday afternoon that the jail would be placed on lockdown from 3 p.m. Tuesday until 3 p.m. Wednesday. The move means that there will be no inmate visits allowed — except for requesting clergy or legal counsel — and the jail will be limited to essential movement only.

Dart said he was “taking those steps to avoid anyone needlessly driving to the jail.”

It will still be possible to post bail for any jail inmates, but anyone who had visitation scheduled with an inmate on Tuesday or Wednesday is encouraged to stay home.

Bonds will be accepted at 26th and California until 9 p.m. Tuesday and will resume as normal at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

But Dart has ordered that anyone leaving jail custody who is homeless or otherwise has nowhere to be stay, will have the opportunity to stay overnight in an empty, but secured jail building, where officials have set up cots.

The sheriff’s office also will provide overnight on-site housing for jail employees who are unable to leave at the end of their shift.

Staff from Aramark, which provides food service for the jail, will stay on-site to serve dinner Tuesday and ensure delivery of all subsequent meals to the jail during the blizzard.

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