Update of June 15, 2012.
There is now a way to find people in the McHenry County Jail. Look here for the link.
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A friend of McHenry County Blog was trying to find out if someone was incarcerated in the McHenry County Jail.
There was nothing on the internet, as there is for the Illinois Department of Corrections.
If someone is in state prison, you look for the “inmate locator” portion of the web site, type in a last name and everyone behind bars with that name pops up.
It must be a pretty popular question, because it’s the top Google item for IDOC and there’s even a separate listing.
But, there’s nothing like that for McHenry County.
I looked at other big counties and here’s what I found.
But not McHenry County, even though we are the sixth largest county in Illinois. No county outside of the Chicago metropolitan area is larger.
I decided to look south of I-80.
The first county I checked was Sangamon, where Springfield sits. It has no easy way to find out who is in jail. The last census showed it smaller than McHenry.
Next I tried Madison County, near St. Louis. Nothing there, but Madison has about 50,000 fewer people now than McHenry. It used to be larger, but McHenry County has really grown.
Onto its neighbor, St. Clair County. Couldn’t find anything there either. St. Clair has about as many people as Madison.
Couldn’t find any way to find an inmate in the Peoria County Jail, but that county is now much smaller than McHenry.
So, it looks as if bigger counties have prison locator functions that can be accessed through the internet, but smaller ones don’t.
I thought McHenry County was considered one of the bigger counties now, so I filed this Freedom of Information request:
“Most of the large counties in Illinois have an Inmate Search function. Under the Freedom of Information Act, I request any documents that exist concerning McHenry County’s developing such a service to the public.”
Here is the reply I received from the Sheriff’s Department:
“The McHenry County Sheriff’s Corrections Division does not have any documents concerning the development of this service.”