In October 2013, I began contacting the Cook County Jail in an effort to persuade jail authorities to modify the Inmate Locator section of their website. As the page then existed, by entering any single letter of the alphabet into the last name search box, one could look up all current inmates and access detailed information about them, including booking photos. There was no language regarding the innocence of unsentenced inmates, who comprise the vast majority of the jail’s population.
In January 2014, the words, “Sheriff Dart reminds the public that the unsentenced inmates are presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law,” were added to the Inmate Locator. In April 2014, the search function was altered. It now requires the full first and last name of the inmate to be entered before any information can be accessed.