Cook County jail divisions experiencing heating problem in Nov. - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cook County jail divisions experiencing heating problem in Nov.

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There have been some heating issues in the women's area at Cook County Jail. Winter in Chicago means freezing temperatures. Most can escape the cold, but for some inmates and employees.

Cook County Jail officials say they are close to finishing repairs to a ventilation system problem that created extremely cold conditions inside the jail at two of the facility's buildings.

Sheriff Tom Dart says they became aware of a faulty coil over the weekend when temperatures in Chicago plummeted into the frigid 20's and the system's furnace could not raise the heat higher than 60 degrees. Regulation standards require heat be set at 67 degrees.

Initially, dozens of inmates waiting for trial were affected, but at this hour only 10 inmates in the women's Division 4 are affected and have been relocated until the problem can be fixed.

There was an exchange on Twitter between an account called "Prison Culture" (@prisonculture) and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart (@TomDart)'s account that brought the heating problem to the forefront, which may have begun as early as Thursday of last week.

Prison Culture recommended that all 13,000 of its followers should contact the Department of Justice and tell them to do something about the lack of heat inside the building. There are several buildings inside Cook County Jail that house about 10,000 people.

After FOX 32 News' 4:30 a.m. report on Tuesday, the station received a call from Cook County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ben Breit, saying they were made aware of a problem with the heat in two divisions inside the jail on Saturday.

The Twitter conversation between Prison Culture's sources and Tom Dart's account names Division 9 as one of the spaces without heat, and that it is so cold that they can see their breath. Breit said that issue was fixed, but now Division 4 – the women's jail – is facing a heating problem.

FOX 32 News will update this story as details develop.

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