Father Trapped in Chicago Jail Visiting Room for 31 Hours after Visiting Son

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How does getting stuck in a jail for over a day sound to you? Oh, and I forgot to mention the fact that you didn’t do anything wrong. That’s exactly what happened to a father who was trapped in an entirely empty maximum security jail visiting room for 31 hours when he was visiting his son at the Cook County Jail last weekend.

Chicago police first reported this news on Tuesday, and the Chicago Tribune identified the father as a middle-aged man. Reportedly, he was moved into a visiting room that is not used during the weekends. This room has a concrete door and is for visitors coming to see those who are super-maximum security inmates. The father’s son, who he was going to visit, is  supposedly awaiting trial on a drug case.

“He encountered a door that was propped open and he went in and the door shut behind him,” said Cook County Jail’s executive director to the Chicago Tribune. According to her, the door was left open by contractors who are doing work at the jail.

The inmate’s father was not found until Monday 1 am. He broke a sprinkler head in order to set off an alarm. By doing this, the father damaged his thumb and needed stitches after leaving the jail.

“Anything like this is unacceptable,” Smith said.

There is still an investigation going on about what exactly happened here. However, there’s no denying how nightmarish this incident must have been for this father and how, to use executive director Cara Smith’s words, “unacceptable” this whole situation is. The man was trapped in a jail (even if it just was a visiting area) without being a prisoner, and someone needs to be accountable for that.

Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

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