USA / Illinois / Cook County Jail CountyJail.net has 1,414 interviews from ex-inmates. Share your story
Full interview (by category)Interview with Jason, Kat, JM Advice, Brian, DavidP, keke, Teabag, Crystal, Edward, isaac, Lucky, Laydie, Kathy, Lisa, Apache, Janet, Ron, Ryan, Laura, Fernando, Gail, George, Rich, Mark, John, Juan, Erik, Scott, Shawn, Dominic, James, Carl, Josh and Jose
Getting along with other inmates
Time off for good behavior
Food and Commissary
JM: How many meals did you get per day?
Jason: Three, if you want to call them a meal
JM Advice: 3 per day.
Brian: I was only there long enough for two meals.
DavidP: 3 meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner.
keke: one thats dinner because a bolonga sandwich doesnt count for a meal i dont think and if you want breakfast you have to wake up at 330 am who does that
Crystal: Not fit for a dog. Breakfast is cold (hot cereal) or cold ceral,a 1/2 pint of skim mild, a piece of baloney or a little scrambled egg with baloney, two slices of bread with margarine and two packs sugar. NO salt or spice with any meal. Lunch is two slices slimy poor quality baloney with four slices bread, sometimes a cookie or snack food bag (like chips), occasoinal a tiny apple or orange and Koolaid like artificial small drink. Dinner is ground slop (hamburger or some other poor quality ground meat surprise with maybe a taco sauce or other prepared mix on it, often mixed with shredded baloney), a few tiny bits of lettuce with a small salad dressing pack and carrots or carrots mixed with a piece of cabbage or carrots mixed with beans or once a week beans that are without spice, oil or butter and overcooked, plus a cookie or piece of sponge cake and two slices of bread with margarine and 1/2 pint of milk.
Edward: you would get three,breakfest,lunch and dinner
Ryan: 3 breakfast was hot lunch was bologna(cold) and dinner hot
Laura: Three. I only ate two, though.
Fernando: got like three meals per day
Gail: 3 I rarely ate the CRAP!!!! I chose rather to cleanse myself spiritually rather than eat that stuff!! I gave my meals to the REALLY hungry and FIRST PRIORITY was to the women who were pregnant.Everybody loved me cuz I never wanted to eat.In 1997 we warmed our coffee in a nitch where they had installed a light bulb in the wall where we got our light.
George: We got 3 meal per day.
Rich: THREE MEALS PER DAY WERE ISSUED
Mark: we received 3 meals a day but during processing that can take 24 hours we did not receive any meals.
John: I got three meals a day
Juan: 3 meals mainly bologne not enough to eat
Erik: WE HAD 3 MEALS DAILY
Scott: 3 meals a day 7 days a week.
Jason: YOU GOT 3 CHILD SIZE MEALS A DAY. ONLY ONE IS HOT AND THAT IS DINNER
Shawn: we received three meals a day
Dominic: We got three meals per day
James: one hot and 2 snack fit for a small child
Carl: we would get 3 meals a day
Josh: 3 meals a day. Always bolgna sandwiches for lunch
Jose: Three meals per day. Everyday.
JM: How would you rate the food? Please give details of why.
Jason: Rubage..I would not eat it..
Kat: Horrible molded food
JM Advice: The meals are not anything fancy according to multiple inmate reviews. They receive an average rating of horrible to mediocre, so don't get looking forward to your dining experience in the jail. You do receive three meals a day. Breakfast is served very early and you are woken up to go eat. Lunch usually consists of a very simple sandwich and accompanying punch-like drink.
Brian: Dinner was actually not bad, they gave us chicken and rice. When you're actually in the holding cell waiting to be sentenced, they just give you like a bologna sandwich and a juice bottle. And if you ask for more, they're not going to give it to you. When I went, it was during summertime, and it was pretty hot outside. You get one bologna sandwich, and one juice in a plastic bottle, like a fruit punch kind of thing.
DavidP: That was the worst part of the day. The food was horrendous - almost inedible. You eat it because you're starving, and even then, you only eat about half. It's horrendously tasty. They serve you three meals - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast comes very early - roughly at 5. They wake you up and tell you that breakfast is there - in this case, it was like grits or oatmeal - it couldn't have been worse. There were never any good meals. I think one time we had eggs, and it was just all water. It was just yellow water. It's just not good quality, and the nourishment isn't there.
keke: on a scale of 1 to 10 10 being the highest 0 because its slop and we are cattle
Teabag: nasty as hell. Breakfast: always cold (Oatmeal or Grits, Bread w/ butter if you were lucky Jelly, a small fruit juice and a milk Lunch: 2 Bologna sandwiches, a packet of Kool Aid powder a 1oz bag of chips and 4 cookies. Dinner: Milk, SLOP (consisting of Dog Food grade meat mixed with either noodles or rice) a small salad portion, 2 cookies, broccoli stems (never tops.
Crystal: For $1.50 per inmate per day what do you expect? Not fit for a dog, nutriciously inadequate promotes colon cancer from too much nitrates in baloney and causes migraine headaches to be worsoned due to nitrates in baloney. Inmates are chronically dehydrated because fluid with meals is not enough for a toddler and they may not realize they need to drink a whole lot of water from the fountain on their sink in the cell. The air is dry and inmates don't push enough fluids.
Edward: not good
Lucky: it sucks and its not enough
Kathy: Horrible, disgusting
Janet: ITS SLOP!!!!!!!!!
Ron: very poor
Ryan: terrible you better have commisarry
Laura: I can call is food, but definitely not nutrition. I wrote a lengthy letter to the jail's Nutrition "people" or whatever bogus title they had the first month or so I was there. Two months later we had a questionaire going around asking us about the food. I'm not sure if it was my doing or not, but I did write a very intelligent threatening letter. I was sure half the people in jail had health problems from the food. Indigestion was something every person had in common. And I'm going to remind you every room (about 10-14 people) had ONE toilet. With no door. Commissary food was like Filet Mignon compared to jail food. I abstained, mostly because I was so depressed. This is what made nearly everyone gain weight.
Fernando: would rate the food a terrible no stars,dry,not cooked properly,and the servings are not big,the food is throwed around on the plate sloppily,and the quality is simular to food grown at city market farms,and very tasteless not seasoned to a degree as to make it more palable to the taste
Gail: OK ,OK. I ate the hamhocks,cornbread and collard greens.I even ate the black eyed peas.But the food was 99% disgusting. It made it all the easier to give away. FYI I was incarcerated in Kissimmee FL and had mop strings in my eggs and raw eggs that were intended to be Hard Boiled Eggs for breakfast?Really???Salmonella!!Certain Death!!!...I wrote a poem about it and they read it in briefing......lol Cook County Jail food sucks...It is bland,cold,I do not trust the so called meat they give us because it looks like dog shit.You are basically forced to eat the crap because I was put on watch when I went on my 1 week fast..they will actually call a doctor on you.But when you really need one they can never be found.
George: The food was terrible and when I first got there I would not touch it.I would only eat the bread.After a week the food was okay because you had to eat to survive.I enjoyed the tacos and the sloppy joes but the rest was horrible.Sometime you just could not eat dinner if they have something nasty.
Rich: THE FOOD WAS ALRIGHT IT REPRESENTED THE FOUR MAJOR FOOD GROUPS, U JUST MIGHT NOT HAVE GOTTEN THE PORTION YOU WERE USE TO OUT IN THE WORLD. ALSO THE SEASONING MAY HAVE LEFT SOMTHING TO BE DESIRED. ALL AN ALL IT WAS ENOUGH FOR A PERSON TO SURVIVE & KEEP UP THEIR STRENGTH
Mark: 0!!! i rate the food 0!!! It was garbage!!! you eat a boloni sandwich 2 times a days served with a small packet of cheese crackers with about 5, 1 centimeter sized crackers in the bag. you get a nasty warm milk in a wax little like container and last but not least maybe an apple that's nasty and for dinner you get rubber turkey on thanksgiving or other meats and mash potatoes that smells and tastes bad. very small servings!!!
John: I would rate the food a zero because it was bland no seasoning some trays you could tell that a inmate picked off it and the combitions off food thast they give you I s crazy its like thrown together looking like slop fa real and majority of the time the food isn't hot
Juan: food was crappy..bolonge..mainly pork..rumor is that they put some chemical in the food that kept somebody fom getting excited a hard on sotoo speak..if you bought commissary you coul dget junk food. but it filled you up...there was no microwave to heat anything..you ran the shower water long enough to make ramen noodle
Erik: IN COOK COUNTY IT WAS THE WORST FOOD, I OFTEN GAVE IT AWAY, I WOULD HAVE RATHER HAVE STARVED THAN TO EAT MOST OF THE FOOD SERVED, IN KANE COUNTY THE FOOD WAS MUCH BETTER, BUT I EVEN SKIPPED SOME MEALS WHILE I WAS THERE, BECAUSE I HAVE A SELECTIVE PALATE
Scott: It was god awful. The total basics fake protein, carbs and sugar just what one needs to plump up and lay down. mystery foods and questionable dishes. It was really like living in a third world country and being feed at the bottom of the food chain their. what a real wake up call.
Jason: THE FOOD IS GARBAGE. BREAKFAST CONSIST OF A BOX OF CEREAL AND A MILK. A BREAKFAST BAR OR A PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH. LUNCH IS ALWAYS TO SAME ONE SANDWICH PEANUT BUTTER OR MEAT NO CHEESE. 2 SLICES OF BREAD, A KOOL AID PACK AND A PACKAGE OF 4 COOKIES. DINNER IS CAT FOOD, DOG FOOD OR SLOP. BEANS THAT ARE ALWAYS UNDER COOKED AND HARD, AND A VEGETABLE THE SAME WAY. IF YOU HAVE GREEN BEANS ON MON AND CARROTS ON TUES THEN YOU ARE HAVING LEFTOVER GREEN BEANS AND CARROTS ON WENSDAY.
Shawn: i think the food was good the best you can get for jailhouse food the only problem is that not lot of the food was healthy for you and that causes you to get fat and have to workout just to get the food off you thst you jsurt ate
Dominic: The food was the absolute worst. The portions were very small and breakfast and dinner was always served cold. Lunch was a pre- packaged meal placed on a styrofoam tray and sealed in plastic wrap. It usually consisted of four slices of bread, a few slices of lunchmeat, usually bologna, a piece of fruit, and a small bag of potato chips. An 8oz carton of milk was served with breakfast and dinner but never with lunch
James: the food is garbage. i honestly don't believe its for human consumption. breakfast was a box of cereal, half pint of milk and some gram crackers. everyday! lunch is either a bologne sandwich ao a peanut butter sandwich and a bag of chip and some cookies and that is everyday! dinner is the only hot meal. it is hot garbage. cat food or dog food and left over veggie green beans or beans or a mix of the 2 every other day of the shit that was left over
Carl: nasty disgusting horrible sub standard the bologna was always green and they never gave you enough to eat it always left you wanting more i think it was a way to keep control over inmates and to have use weak so no one would get the upper hand over a guard
Josh: 5. They bolgna sandwiches were nasty. At least we got 2 hot meals a day. If you went to commisssary then you could make a burrito, which is crushed up chips and chiken or tuna rolled with cheese. The trays were unsanitzed and had to eat in certain position by gang. Hot dogs, tacos, cereal was the norm
Jose: I give the food a 2 out of 10. For breakfast we got 5/8 of an ounce of cereal with a little milk box and usually one other food item. For lunch it was always a baloney sandwich with 4 slices of bread and 4 slices of baloney and a mustard packet. Dinner consisted of a bunch of slop, a desert and a drink.
JM: Did you have any favorite/least favorite meals?
JM Advice: Dinner is reported as being the nicest meal, though still not much compared to dining outside the facilities.
Brian: I guess dinner.
DavidP: No. At lunchtime, they throw you a bag, around 11. I mean, literally, they throw you a plastic bag with one piece of bologna, two pieces of bread, and one of those packets like they have at carry-out places, like a mustard and a mayonnaise or something. You get an orange with it, or an apple. So you get one piece of bologna, and it's horrible at that. You make this half-assed sandwich, and that's it. And then dinner, and that's basically no better than anything else, and that's it. So they do give you three.
keke: hell no
Teabag: It was all unfit for human consumption but ya have to eat to keep your weight up. I ate off of comissary (food purchased like a store) bags of chips, tuna fish packets, sardine packets, ramen noodles, candy. you could also purchase ketchup, BBQ sauce, hot sauce salsa to mask the taste of the food served.
Crystal: All crap, unappealing. Baloney gets old and I couldn't tolerate it so I lost a lot of weight. I also have food intolerances and got a lot of diarrhea so I ended up fasting most of the time and became very ill.
Edward: all of them were not good but i guess its not supposed to be good.
isaac: ive never eaten bolonga again
Apache: all bad
Janet: YES THE WORST IS LUNCH, A COLD 2 INCH THICK SLICE OF BOLOGNA AND ITS HORRID!!!!
Ron: all was bad
Ryan: no well fried chicken day
Laura: Actually, yes. I enjoyed their pretzel, only thing that had salt on it. And once you learn to "jail", you take the left over salt in the empty pretzel bag and crush it up and use it for later.
Fernando: all meals and foods were not my favorite,i eat on a strict vegan/lactose eating style,so none of the meals were what i eat
Gail: Refried beans..It always took me back to my roots...The roots of a tree is more like the taste and consistency but shi**** I have to start somewhere...Really???My favorite meal in an institution that cares nothing about you except for the fact that the employed have a job.When you get locked up so they can do theirs?You lose all rights to favorites and things you love..When I was in IYC DOC Warrenville it was a different story...But that's another $25.00 bucks.Hope my cousin isn't still working in the kitchen....lol :(
George: The tacos and sloppy joes were my favorites.The oatmeal and the bologna sandwiches we terrible.It will make you vomit just thinking about it.
Rich: I WOULD HAVE TO SAY BREAKFAST OF SAUSAGE & WAFFLES HAD TO BE MY FAVORITE, WITH PEANUT BUTTER ON THE WAFFLES.
Mark: no, it was that bad that you couldn't pick and choose what to eat or what you liked because it was that bad. nothing you ate even had a taste to it other than like a cough medicine taste.
John: no I didn't not have any favorite meal while in jail that's why I always haf commissary food to eat
Juan: no but anything with starch and protein was decent...dinner and brcertain breakfastest were my something to look foward to...but every sat commissary when your order of junk food etc came was the best
Erik: IT'S JAIL FOOD NONE OF IT IS MY FAVORITE, GETTING OUT AND EATING A REAL MEAL IS MY FAVORITE THING
Scott: Cereal was the best, everything else was the worst. All one could really aspect was something, because it was really better then nothing.
Jason: LUNCH ITS HARD TO MESS UP A PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH. THE BOLGONE WASN'T THAT BAD YOU KNEW WHAT IT WAS AT LEAST.
Shawn: breakfast was horrible horrible timing jd you could almost be sure you were getting grits in the morning thats why breakfast was the worst
Dominic: I didn't have any favorite meals. All of the food was pretty awful and I ate in order to survive.
James: myfavorite meal was something i brought out of the store. they had these breakfast bar sometimes that wasn't bad. other than that the food was awful. i had to only do three days but it was the same as all the other days as i was told hoping shit would be diffrent
Carl: yes the polishes was very good and they used to have cake but it didn't have icing on it the least fav food was this crap called meat and gravy but it looked like Alpo dog food
Josh: They call it shit on a shingle. Its biscuits and watery gravy. Those disgusting bolgna sandwiches with a slime on them. Ouch
Jose: My favorite meal was breakfast because it was usually the most filling. At least the days when they had bagels. You would get a bagel with 2 slices of cheese. If you know how to trade properly, one could have a decent breakfast.
JM: Were there any other snacks offered outside of meals? What was commissary like and how expensive was it?
Kat: Yes from Commissary -- but you have to wait almost a week to get it after you get there.
JM Advice: Snacks are available from the commissary, but are on your own dime. They are also not usually anything substantial that could take the place of meals and you only get one commissary shopping opportunity per week, so use it wisely. Some people may offer you protection in exchange for portions of meals or entire meals - while this is obviously a personal decision decide the costs and the benefits of bartering precious meals for protection - you may be better off offering some type of commissary as opposed to meals. Commissary is ordered with money from your books which your friends or family can give you by visiting the jail with cash.
Brian: No - but inmates who had been processed and everything could order commissary.
DavidP: There's a commissary thing where people - your friends or family or something, they put money on your account. There's a special place where people can send a check to, and then it goes under your name. Once a week, you're able to order anything. That's where you get your deodorant, shampoo, you can order underwear, socks, shoelaces, snack foods, etc. No food-foods, but any kind of snack foods you can think of. You can order it once a week, and you'll get it three or four days later, and that's what you can snack on in between. That's how it goes with food.
keke: hell no
Crystal: At Cermak food commissary is not allowed. Elsewhere the commissary has mostly junk food. Try to get better protein than baloney by buying and eaten tuna fish.
Edward: you can get commissary if you have money on your books.that helps alot
isaac: commissary u can can get decent stuff if u work in kitchen go to dietry real meat!!!
Lucky: if you have money on your account you can buy food.
Laydie: yes you had a snack shop where you could buy snacks
Kathy: No. You have to get money from loved ones for commissary.
Janet: NO ONLY IF YOU PURCHASED COMMISSARY.
Ron: only on commissary
Laura: Once I wrote my angry letter, along with the questionaire came a few perks. They started to give us FiberOne bars! Haha! Didn't help...
Fernando: no other snacks were offered outside of meals and the commi9ssary was all good,slightly expensive but well worth the money,considering,but it was stocked with snacks and they were fresh,they bring snack trucks/deliveries daily at the county
Gail: Not that I can recall.I was pregnant in 1988 while there but because they did not determine that I was pregnant for 4 months while there and my tummy growing at the age of 17??????/I never got any..Oh wait..The week before I left I think they finally listened to my concerns about seeing a doctor and that I was pregnant the entire 4 months I was told I was not??Maybe had to do with the CPD beating me with a flashlight in the stomach after a stolen car chase and me telling them I was pregnant.When I arrived at CCJ I was bleeding from down below and thought I was about to miscarry..Lawsuit AVERTED!! Guess that's why the cops who arrested me never showed up at court. and getting prenatal care and my extra SNACK??? I'm all over the place with my stories..So to clarify..I think we did get snacks in the evening You are getting two stories for ONE
George: No snack only commissary.Commissary was very expensive.I didn't have commissary because I would save things from the day before for my snacks.It was very hard because people try to steal your food while sleeping at night.
Rich: MAYBE FRUIT, CRACKERS,RASINS,PEANUTS. COMMISSARY HAD YOUR LITTLE DEBBIES CAKES 7 fruit pies, noodles, cheese,from what i could tell i never had someone in world to put money on my books, i did my bid alone.
Mark: there were other snacks offered outside of meals but only if you had cash money in the books to pay for it. commissary was only 1 day a week.prices were high on everything. cigarettes were also triple the price of what they cost outside the jail.
John: the snacks that was offred was the best thing on the tray and commissary was good a nice selection some items were pricey but you had a chose two the jail food but like 100 bucks youll b fine unitil the next commissary
Juan: you had to order on tuesday and have the money on the books ..the snacks were somewhat limited but they were good...coffee apperently was taken off shortly before i got thaere ,,..but peanut butter..saltine crackers...ramen noodle fireballs were among my favs
Erik: YES THERE WAS, IN COOK COUNTY I DON'T KNOW I DIDN'T BUY ANYTHING DIDN'T WANT ANYTHING, I THINK IT WAS EXSPENSIVE, IN KANE COUNTY I DIDN BUY SOME THINGS, I BELIEVE THEY WER FAIR WITH PRICE
Scott: There was commissary but again like everything else it was subject to major flaws. Wrong orders, out of stock items over pricing wrong pricing, it to was just another mess. Money that was missing and not accounted for on your books.
Jason: COMMISSARY WOULD GET YOU THREW. A RAMEN NOODLE WAS A DOLLAR. A 5 OZ BEEF SUMMER SAUSAGE WAS 4 BUCKS A 1 OZ CHEESE PACK WAS A 1 DOLLAR SO FOR ABOUT 5 BUCKS YOU COULD EAT A DECENT MEAL.ITS EXPENSIVE AND MOST CANNOT AFFORD IT. THUS THEY STEAL FROM OTHER WEAKER INMATES OR FROM THE KITCHEN. IF THEY FED YOU DECENT THEN THERE WOULD BE LESS VIOLENCE IN JAIL PERIOD
Shawn: yes their were snacks offered at a price commissary was once a week so you hadd to stretch out your comm. b/c usuall people would run out by we and you wouls have to wait
Dominic: There was nothing else offered as snacks beyond the three meals per day. Commissary was very controlled. Any items inmates ordered was brought to the deck and distributed by the guards. Items were more expensive than items a person would buy in a grocery store. An example is one individual pack of Ramen noodles was priced at .40 cents in commissary, yet only costs .20cents in a grocery store.
James: snacks....lol no they ws no snacks and come to think of it a snack may have save some one from getting they butt kick or robbed. comm is expensive and should be made avail 2 times a week.
Carl: no the only snack we got was from commissary and it was too expensive but the portions are small so sometimes we would sneak snacks from the kitchen back to the div and split it up
Josh: The commissary was not that much different price wise to the outside world maybe more expensive. Ramen noodles were 50 cents. Basically all junk food. Candy bars and chips were the main sellers. Not good. A lot of cosmetics
Jose: Yes there was commissary once a week. The commissary was the only was you could make it without starving completely. The prices were a bit more than usual, but it was almost a necessity to be able to get something.
comments powered by Disqus