Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center: A Detailed Overview
Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, located in the heart of Cook County, Illinois, stands as a prominent administrative security prison with a unique design and a rich history. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this facility, exploring its architecture, inmate population, amenities, and visiting procedures.
The Facility’s Unique Design
Constructed in 1971, the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC Chicago) immediately distinguishes itself from other prisons with its innovative design. The facility boasts 26 stories, and its architectural marvel includes a rooftop exercise yard—an unusual feature for a prison. Inmates have the opportunity to utilize this yard every other day for two hours, providing them with a much-needed respite from the confines of their cells. Additionally, inmates can visit the gym up to two times a week, contributing to their physical well-being and rehabilitation.
Housing Units and Inmate Classification
MCC Chicago houses both male and female offenders, making it a diverse correctional center. At present, the facility accommodates 615 inmates, each assigned to specific housing units based on their category, which includes sentenced and pretrial inmates. The unique aspect of this classification is that certain floors are dedicated to particular categories of inmates.
The facility has two dormitory floors, each featuring dorms spanning approximately 1,888 square feet. Moreover, MCC Chicago offers 227 multiple inmate cells, each measuring about 74 square feet, and 22 isolation cells for stricter confinement.
A Glimpse into Inmate Life
Inmates at MCC Chicago have access to various amenities aimed at fostering personal growth and rehabilitation. The prison’s library is a notable feature, allowing inmates to browse through a collection of books and movies twice a week. This access to literature and entertainment helps inmates expand their horizons and engage in constructive activities during their incarceration.
One noteworthy point is that since 2005, only male inmates have been allowed to work within the prison. However, there are discussions about potentially extending this privilege to female inmates in the future, providing them with opportunities for skill development and vocational training.
Piper Kerman’s Experience
MCC Chicago gained attention when Piper Kerman, the author of “Orange is the New Black: My Year in Women’s Prison,” spent her last few months of imprisonment within its walls. Kerman’s candid account shed light on the challenges faced by inmates, emphasizing issues related to the lack of attention and empathy from the prison staff, which left inmates in a state of “misery.”
Visiting Hours and Procedures
For families and loved ones of inmates, visiting hours at MCC Chicago are crucial. The facility accommodates visitors every day of the week, with specific times allocated for weekdays and weekends.
Weekday Visiting Hours:
- 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.
- 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Weekend Visiting Hours:
- 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M.
- 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.
Visiting hours on federal holidays mirror the schedule for weekend visits. To visit MCC Chicago, prospective visitors must complete a visitor application.
Inmate visitation lists vary based on their status. Designated inmates can have up to 10 people on their visiting list, while pretrial inmates are limited to six immediate family members. Due to space constraints, pretrial inmates are only allowed three visitors at a time, including children.
For designated male inmates, up to five visitors, excluding infants, are permitted at once. Female inmates, on the other hand, can have up to five visitors concurrently.
Visitors must adhere to strict guidelines regarding personal belongings. Only a clear coin purse, up to three diapers, two bottles (for those visiting with infants or small children), and up to $50.00 in cash (in bills not exceeding twenty dollars) are permitted inside the facility. Visitors are strictly prohibited from giving any items to inmates, and all unauthorized belongings will be stored in lockers.
For those seeking to reach out to MCC Chicago, here are the essential contact details:
Physical Address: Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center 71 West Van Buren Street Chicago, Illinois 60605
Inmate Mailing Address: Inmate Name, ID Number Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center 71 West Van Buren Street Chicago, Illinois 60605
The Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center is a remarkable correctional facility known for its distinctive design, diverse inmate population, and efforts towards rehabilitation. While it has faced its share of challenges, it continues to serve as a vital institution in the criminal justice system.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How many inmates does MCC Chicago currently house? MCC Chicago currently holds 615 inmates.
- What is the unique architectural feature of MCC Chicago? MCC Chicago boasts a rooftop exercise yard, which inmates can use every other day.
- What amenities are available to inmates at MCC Chicago? Inmates have access to a library with books and movies, as well as a gym for physical activity.
- Who is Piper Kerman, and what did she say about MCC Chicago? Piper Kerman is the author of “Orange is the New Black: My Year in Women’s Prison,” and she described MCC Chicago as a place where inmates experienced “misery” due to the lack of attention from guards.
- What are the visiting hours at MCC Chicago? Visiting hours vary but generally include weekdays from 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., as well as weekends from 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.