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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 individuals in custody face. The ways that you communicate with your 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 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 loved one who is in custody. 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. Your concerns may come because the individual in custody makes a concerning statement, has a sudden change in mood, or because a known anniversary date that may trigger negative emotions is on the horizon. The CCSO recognizes the importance of positive contact with family and friends and is available as a resource for guidance.