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(773) 674-CCSO (2276)

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Communication Tips for Family Members

Home > Departments > Office of Mental Health Policy and Advocacy >
Communication Tips for Family Members

A correctional institution can be a negative and stressful environment, but positive contact with family and friends can minimize the challenges many detainees face. The ways that you communicate with your incarcerated loved one is important. You are encouraged to focus on creating a positive interaction by offering them encouragement, support and a listening ear. Allow them to vent their frustrations while keeping the conversation uplifting.

Try to avoid discussing depressing topics such as death, serious injury or health problems and family problems without arranging for support for your loved one. Prior to having such conversations with your incarcerated loved one, it will be important to notify the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Mental Health Care Line at:

(773) 674-CARE


(773) 674-2273

Once contact has been made with the Care Line staff, supportive services will be arranged for your incarcerated loved one. Additionally, you are encouraged to contact the Care Line staff if you have any concerns about the potential for the individual to engage in self-harm. Concerns can be triggered by statements made by the detainee, a sudden change in mood, known anniversary dates that may trigger negative emotions, etc. The CCSO recognizes the importance of detainees’ positive contact with family and friends and is available as a resource for guidance.

Home > Departments > Office of Mental Health Policy and Advocacy >
Communication Tips for Family Members
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