McHenry County Jail Operations
The first McHenry County Jail was established together with the Sheriff’s Office in 1837. As the county grew, so did the need for more space. In 1972, a new government center was built. Nearly 20 years later a separate adult correctional facility was built. In 2006, that space was expanded again and today we have the capacity to house up to 650 inmates and employ 195 correctional officers and staff.
The facility houses inmates awaiting trial in criminal cases, as well as those that have been sentenced to the County facility. Included in the inmate population are Federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees, Federal U.S. Marshal inmates and Federal Bureau of Prison inmates. An inmate can be held at the facility until they post bond or are sentenced. After an inmate is sentenced, they can be detained at the County facility for 364 days. Anyone sentenced to more than 364 days is taken to the Illinois Department of Corrections to serve their sentence.
The McHenry County Correctional Bureau is proud to be a accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA), Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), and National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).
The McHenry County Correctional Bureau is proud to be accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA). McHenry County is one of only 5 correctional facilities in the state of Illinois to have this honor.
ACA standards address services, programs, health care and security operations essential to effective correctional management. Through accreditation, an agency is able to maintain balance between protecting the public and providing an environment that safeguards the life, health, and safety of staff and offenders. The standards were developed by national leaders from the field of corrections, law, architecture, health care, and other groups who are interested in sound correctional management.
Inmate Worker Program
The Inmate Worker Program contributes to the orderly operation of the jail. Correctional Officers help recruit eligible inmates to fill worker positions. Officers assign these individuals to work, under officer supervision, in the kitchen, laundry room, and custodial services. The Worker Program is a means of positive and productive interaction for the inmates and can help them with job opportunities upon release.
Sheriff’s Road Crew
The Sheriff’s Road Crew Program consists of two correctional officers assigned to supervise up to four inmate workers who perform work details outside the jail in the community of McHenry County. The road crew program is strictly voluntary. To be eligible for this program, an inmate must pass a medical screening and cannot have a sentence or history of violent offenses.
Typically, the Road Crew works Monday through Friday from the first week of May to the second week of October. Various townships, cities, and government agencies inside McHenry County often request the road crew’s services. Services vary from picking up trash on roads and easements, patching pot holes, seal coating, painting guard rails, clearing trees and brush, and washing fleet vehicles.
The services of the Road Crew not only helps the community look better, but it also helps save money for the local townships that would normally have to use extra manpower to complete these tasks. It also reduces wear and tear on mower equipment that would run over litter. The program also gives inmates a chance to give back to the community by completing constructive tasks.
Special Response Unit (SRU)
The Special Response Unit (SRU) is made up of 3 teams, each with their own specialized set of skills. They all work together under the umbrella of SRU to handle all specialized functions of the Correctional Facility.
The Tactical Team is composed of officers who are specially trained in resolving critical incidents and the completion of high-risk correctional duties. This includes barricaded subject(s), forced cell movement, hostage rescue, riots, high-risk transports and other duties where specialized action may be required outside of the normal Correctional Officer function.
The Crisis Team is made up of officers who are specially trained to assist inmates in times of crisis and negotiate during critical incidents. The Crisis Team is an integral part of SRU, as they are proactive in the physical and mental well-being of inmates during incarceration.
The Intel Team is made up of officers who are trained in investigations and interviewing. They will investigate potential crimes that are committed by people who are incarcerated. The Intel Team also investigates Major Disciplinary Violations. An important element of their job is to investigate P.R.E.A. (the Prison Rape Eliminate Act) which is a federal set of standards that are aimed at eliminating prison rape.
What is PREA?
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in correctional settings such as prisons, jails, lockups, and juvenile facilities. Sexual misconduct under this law includes:
- Offender-on-offender sexual assault and abuse
- Staff-on-offender sexual misconduct (sexual inappropriate relationships with offenders)
- Offender-on-offender and staff-on-offender sexual harassment
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office takes every report of sexual misconduct seriously and will thoroughly, promptly, and objectively investigate all allegations.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is committed to emphasizing a zero-tolerance for sexual abuse or assault of detainees/inmates, either by staff or other detainees/inmates. It shall be the policy of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Bureau to provide a safe and secure environment for all detainees, employees, contractors, and volunteers, free from the threat of sexual abuse or assault by maintaining a Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention Program that ensures effective procedures for preventing, reporting, responding to, investigating, and tracking incidents or allegations of sexual abuse or assault. The Corrections Bureau shall conduct investigations in a manner that avoids unnecessary embarrassment or indignity to the detainee/inmate. It shall also be the policy of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office to pursue administrative, disciplinary, and/or criminal sanctions against any detainee/inmate, staff member, contractor, or volunteer found to have committed sexual abuse or assault against a detainee/inmate. It shall be the responsibility of the Medical staff to provide immediate first-aid to the victim and to refer the detainee/inmate to the appropriate medical facility.
MCSO’s policies regarding sexual misconduct apply to all inmates/detainees. They also apply to employees, contractors, and volunteers.
Sexual Misconduct Information
If you have information regarding a MCSO inmate who may have been a victim of sexual misconduct while in custody, please contact us either by phone at (815) 338-9396 or by submitting the following form. Please fill out the following form with as much detail as possible.