Bill to punish inmates for exposing themselves in jail passes Senate committee

CHICAGO — A bill to punish inmates for exposing themselves in jail has passed out of a state Senate committee.

It’s in response to a problem WGN Investigates first reported one year ago.  

Cook County jail inmates are accused of exposing themselves to staff and sometimes even throwing bodily fluid at them.  It’s happened more than 600 times at the county jail in the last 16 months.

The sheriff now houses these inmates in a special section of the jail and makes them wear protective clothing. That led to a mini-uprising in which the inmates set fire to the uniforms.

The legislation would brand inmates convicted of exposing themselves more than once as “sex offenders.”  They could also lose credit for time served before their convictions.

The bill now heads to the full Illinois Senate.