Ill. sheriff books himself into jail to learn about prisoners’ complaints

A sheriff is turning himself in for a night in jail to learn more about prisoners’ complaints on living conditions

By News Staff

ST. CHARLES, Ill. — A sheriff turned in his clothes for a county jail uniform to experience life in jail.

Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain announced he would spend the night in jail to get a better understanding of life in the Kane County Adult Correctional Center, The Daily Herald reports. 

Hain wants to determine the validity of complaints the detainees have and hopes it will show them that he’s invested in their lives.

"As sheriff and keeper of the house, it is important to experience it myself," Hain said.

After surveying corrections staff in mid-December, the suggested areas of improvement were food, clothing and climate.

Detainees complain about the taste of the food, the amount of calories and for Muslim and Jewish inmates, the menu doesn’t conform to their religious halal or kosher standards. The inmate also complain that the temperature of cells are too cold and Hain’s predecessor was even sued by a prisoner over rules that prohibited inmates from covering themselves with their blankets from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. unless they received permission from staff.

Detainees are outfitted with an orange T-shirt, orange pants, sandals, socks and underwear that included a short sleeve shirt when they enter the jail. They can request a long-sleeved thermal undershirt, but they’re not always available.

Hain asked to be placed in one of the cells prisoners have complained about the most. He believes it’s important to understand the jail situation because it’s the office’s largest department.

He plans on spending the night in jail several times in the coming months. 

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