UPDATE: 3-11-15 Apparently there is a new procedure where you can designate a person other than the defendant to receive the bond refund. I don’t know if it is on the bond form or not or if there is some other paperwork you have to request when paying the bond.
After the detainee is scheduled for release by the court he must go through a discharge procedure. He/she will not be able to tell you a time to pick him/her up and the jail won’t be able to tell you a time either.
Make sure to also read the official Cook County Jail web site’s bonding page: http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/doc/doc_Bonding.html
If he/she is in court in the morning, then they will be returned to their unit in the jail by about noon to 3 pm. If they are being released then they will be given their clothing and told to dress and put their bedding into the linen bags.
They will be escorted to the discharge area where they will have to wait anywhere from 1 to 8 hrs for release. They will have paperwork filled out and they will be identified multiple times to make sure they are releasing the right person. If on bond they have to sign and receive bond papers. If they are on any medications, then this will prolong the process as the doctor has to write the orders, the pharmacy has to fill them, and the detainee must be escorted to the pharmacy to pick them up.
If they are to be electronically monitored, then more time is needed to be processed for this.
The process begins around 8 am if the detainee has finished a sentence and is scheduled for release on a specific day.
Nothing is done during shift changes and for an hour before and after. That is between 6 am and 8 am and 2 pm and 4 pm. Shift changes are at 7 am, 3 pm and 11 pm.
A person can be released any time of the day or night and on weekends and holidays also, if bond is paid or there is a court order.
When processing is complete they will be released out of Division 5 – the big white gate a 1/2 block south of 26th street on California avenue. There is NO PLACE to wait for the detainee, even if they are ill, disabled in a wheelchair or it is storming or snowing. People picking them up have to wait on the sidewalk or in their cars.
The inmate will not be able to call you because their cell phone battery will be dead by the time they are released. They receive their money as a check and therefore they have no change to make a phone call.
They are only given a bus pass, along with any property the jail staff have not conveniently “misplaced”, along with a check for their money that was placed in the commissary if released before 5 pm. If released at night or evening, then they have to come back to the jail during business hours to pick up their check.
Bond money will be mailed as a check to their last known address six to eight weeks after their trial is over with or the charges are dismissed. The clerk keeps 10 % of the bond as a processing fee, no matter how large the bond. ($10 for a $100 bond; $1000 for a $10,000 bond)
You will not be able to call the jail and find out when they will be released. They will not answer that question.
So if they were scheduled for release that day – expect the detainee to emerge between around 9 am and noon.
If they are being released after a court hearing, expect them to be released around 4 to 8 pm, rarely between noon and 2 pm.
If they are released after bail is posted expect to have to wait from 2-6 hrs before they emerge (not counting shift change time [7 am, 3 pm, 11 pm] and the hour before and after shift change).