You can find online reviews for anything imaginable. In this era, it goes far beyond goods, services, restaurants, and hotels. Who knows the background of the reviewer, they could be a disgruntled "Karen" who is a thief of joy. Personally, I don't really read into online reviews too much because I don't know the credentials of the person posting. If you wondered if there are online reviews for jails in Illinois there are and they're entertaining.


For reviewing jails, ex-inmates were interviewed and asked about several criteria:

  • Pre-sentencing
  • Sentencing
  • Inmates
  • Good Behavior
  • Jail Layout
  • Telephones
  • Leisure Time
  • Visitor Policy
  • Meals
  • Medications
  • Clothing

In this article, the focus will only be related to four of the categories listed above for Winnebago County Jail in Rockford. Two people were interviewed about their time spent inside the jail, one woman and one man.


Jail Layout

It sounds like there isn't a whole lot of space, too crowded, and too loud.

Male Inmate:

We would go to an inside exercise room inside with no windows. Two pods share the exercise room. From what I saw the pods were pretty much the same.

Female Inmate:

The nicest parts of the decks were probably that there were two tv's. One on each side, so you were usually able to catch something interesting on TV, and from the cell, you could see the TV so you wouldn't necessarily have to go out on the deck.

Leisure Time

There's an empty exercise room, a few TVs, a library, and an internet-less computer room. You could get puzzles too but you have to wait a day.

Male Inmate:

You could run around and do pushups. They have walls with metal screens, and we used to take our shirts off and put them against the welding and do pushups.

Female Inmate:

To help pass the time, there were programs such as rehab, GED classes, church, library and a few others that would help you reach your personal goals or education goals. You did not have regular all day everyday access to these programs though. You were only allowed to join them once accepted.

Male Inmate:

To get sudoku or crossword puzzle you have to ask the CO to print one out the day before.


Can you guess how much they enjoyed the cuisines served up at Winnebago County Jail?


Both ex-inmates said they were offered three meals a day. The male inmate gave the food "3 or 4" on a scale of 1-10, the female gave it a goose egg, a solid 0.

It was disgusting. It was usually old and stale. Had no flavor and was unhealthy.

The male loved the chicken patty while the female didn't much of the food a chance.

I did not have any favorite or least favorite meals. I never ate. I pretty much starved myself while I was in there.

Both explained you could order from the commissary at a costly price.

Visitor Review

There's also a review from the viewpoint of someone visiting an inmate, it also received an unfavorable rating.

its bull the inmate has to scedual it, then somehow let you know of the day and time. If they send you a letter, y the time you get it, the visit is past and gone, so the only option is an expensive phone call to let ou know of a visit. If you don't have the $$$ for the call, you get no visitors.

I think what this person was trying to articulate is an inmate is responsible for arranging a visit but only if they had money to make a call to the said visitor. Also, this person really hated the parking situation in downtown Rockford.

Since its in the hood, you have to worry about bing mugged or your car being broken into. Some of the guards are dicks and tell you to take your purse out to your car. I don't leave it in my car at home, what makes those people think I want to leave it in the car in the hood?

You can read the full review for Winnebago County Jail here.

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