Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain did something more than a little different in response to several recent cases of inmate behavioral issues and assaults on officers at the Kane County Jail.
First, he enlisted the help of police officers throughout the county to conduct a jail “shakedown.” Then he slept overnight at the jail to personally experience the conditions in the cell block.
According a Sheriff’s Office news release, posted on Facebook, Hain coordinated a unified operation with the Sheriff’s Office Corrections Response Team and Kane County SWAT team for a cell block “shakedown” in two of the nine jail pods.
The two housing units had been experiencing problems with disciplinary rule violations, including instances of inmates attempting to make “hooch” — a process of mixing juice with fermenting fruit — and a Dec. 30 assault of an officer in one of the housing units.
The operation took place during the morning of Dec. 31 with the assistance of officers from the Huntley, South Elgin, St Charles, Geneva, Batavia, and North Aurora police departments who are participating members of the Kane County SWAT Team.
The operation took about two hours and consisted of removing inmates from each cell in the housing unit, searching the cell, replacing basic linens, and a count of personal items.
The inmates were then returned to their cell if no contraband was located.
In all, several bottles of “hooch” were seized and some graffiti was discovered in several cells, the Sheriff’s Office said. Six inmates were moved to disciplinary status and will be denied privileges for several days.
According to the news release, cooperative inmates were out of their cells for a short talk. Hain told inmates that enhanced programs will be coming to the jail within the next three months with the intention of directing everyone in the facility down a successful path in life when they re-enter the community.
Hain called the shakedown operation “ground zero” toward better behavior in the facility and an opportunity for the inmates and staff to build strong, cooperative relationships.
“(The New Year’s Eve) operation was a great success in that no officers or inmates were injured, some minor contraband was removed, and supportive direction was given for our inmate population,” Hain said.
Charges are pending against the inmate who assaulted the officer the night before.
Sheriff’s Over-Night Experience
Hain slept overnight at the Kane County Adult Justice Center, according to a Facebook video posted on Jan. 3. The video is embedded above and may be seen on the Facebook page by clicking this link.
Hain stayed in Cell A17.
“(The ) comfort level was fine considering it’s a jail,” Hain said. “A little cold in the cell, but the gentlemen that I displaced for the evening said that two blankets does the trick.”
Hain said he would address the food quality.
“Lunch and dinner weren’t bad,” he said. “But breakfast and the food served to our officers needs to come up a few notches. Minimum monthly quality control checks like this will be the standard.”
Hain also joked that he needs to get better at chess.
“I lost to another guy in the cell block before lock down,” he said.
SOURCE: Kane County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page