Section 720.160 New Construction


This Section applies to all new construction, including remodeling, renovation, additions to existing structures, and new structures.


a) All plans and specifications for the construction of municipal jails or the remodeling or renovation of existing facilities must be approved by the Illinois Department of Corrections. The Department is concerned with all aspects of jail construction, maintenance, and operation which affect the rights, safety, security, care, and welfare of all persons detained and of the staff. The minimum standards set forth in this Section, or an approved equivalent or greater standard, must be met.


1) One set of preliminary drawings shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval.


2) One complete set of construction or bid drawings and specifications shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval, to include:


A) Architectural design.


B) Heating and ventilating system.


C) Plumbing specifications.


D) Electrical specifications.


E) Specifications for materials.


F) Equipment.


G) Furnishings.


3) Documents shall show conformance to applicable local, State, and federal codes and standards and shall include the architect's seal.


4) Plans showing the proposed building location must be submitted to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, to determine compliance with the Regulation of Construction within Flood Plains (17 Ill. Adm. Code 2706) and Construction Activities in Special Flood Hazard Areas (Executive Order 79-4, effective June 1, 1979).


b) All minimum standards for existing facilities (Section 720.50) shall apply in addition to the following minimum standards.


1) Design and Layout of Cell Block.

The cell block shall adjoin the police quarters.


2) Cell, Detention Room, and Cell Block Corridor Walls and Ceilings


A) Either steel, reinforced concrete, reinforced masonry, or security glass is required for walls.


i) Masonry must be at least six inches thick with a ⅜" bar at 16" on center horizontally and " bar at 16" on center vertically.


ii) Joints between concrete blocks shall not exceed ⅜ inch.


iii) Security glass must be at least 9/16" with 12 gauge hollow metal frames with 1" stops.


B) Ceilings shall be constructed of cast in place concrete, pre-cast concrete, or steel. Bars across the cell ceiling are not permitted.


C) Paint, if used, must be flame retardant and lead-free.


3) Cell and Detention Doors and Fronts


A) Each door shall contain a food pass with a maximum opening of 5" high and 16" wide. Solid doors shall have a safety glass observation panel. The door shall be a minimum of 6'8" high and 2'4" wide.


B) Cell fronts shall be steel grille (bars) or security glass.


i) Grille construction shall be no less than ⅞ inch steel bars, round or hexagonal.


ii) The clear opening space between bars shall not exceed 5".


iii) Security glass must be at least 9/16" with 12 gauge hollow metal frames with 1" stops.


C) Detention room doors shall be 12-gauge hollow metal. Door frames shall be at least 12-gauge steel. Both shall be detention grade construction.


D) There shall be a manual override or emergency backup for all doors that are electrically operated.


4) Cell or Detention Room Block Entrance Door


A) A grille door or security hollow metal door, equipped with a safety glass observation panel, shall be used.


B) The entrance door shall be a minimum height of 6'8" and a minimum width of 3'. The area on either side shall be unobstructed.


5) Plumbing


A) Each cell and detention room shall be equipped with a toilet and washbasin, preferably a stainless steel prison-type with bubbler.


i) The toilet shall be seatless (integral seat) and tankless with a push button flush valve.


ii) The washbasin shall be hot and cold water equipped with push button controls.


iii) The water shutoff valve for each cell or detention room shall be installed outside the cell or detention room.


B) A shower shall be provided in the detention area to permit bathing for those persons who are detained for more than 48 hours.


C) Hot and cold water accessible to detainees shall be thermostatically controlled.


6) Windows


A) Windows in the detainee's living quarters must be security type.


B) Any public view into the cell or detention room area is prohibited.


C) Translucent security glass shall be used.


D) All openable cell block external windows shall be security screened. Security screens shall consist of 1" x " 11-gauge steel tubing or channel with a cover plate.


E) Windows that can be opened must also be insect screened. Wire cloth shall be .028" diameter, 12 mesh stainless steel wire, 1200# lineal inch tensile strength.


F) Windows are not required when artificial illumination, cooling, and ventilation (air conditioning) is adequate.


7) Cell and Cell Block Floors


A) Floors must be concrete or precast concrete and may have non-skid material.


B) Floor shall be pitched one to two inches above corridor floor for drainage purposes.


8) Cell Block Corridors.

Cell Block corridors shall be no less than four feet wide.


9) Floor Drains


A) Floor drains shall be located in cell block corridor floors or the plumbing chase. One drain shall be provided for every three cells.


B) Drain covers must be securely anchored.


C) Floor flushing drains shall be provided in cells to be used for offenders under the influence of alcohol.


10) Heating, Cooling and Ventilation


A) Heating equipment shall be located outside the cells or detention rooms.


B) Radiators, if used, shall be adequately shielded to prevent accidental injury.


C) Thermostats shall be located outside cells or detention rooms.


D) The ventilation system shall be capable of moving a sufficient volume of air to each cell or detention room to remove foul air and odors.


i) Circulation shall be at least 15 cubic feet of outside or recirculated filtered air per minute per occupant.


ii) Mechanical ventilation may provide for recirculation of outside air except where prohibited by local or State codes. The outside air requirements may be reduced to a minimum of 33 percent of the specified ventilated air quantity, if adequate temperature control is provided in addition to filtering equipment so that the maximum concentration of particles entering the space is reduced to acceptable limits in accordance with subsection (b)(10)(f) of this Section. In no case should the outdoor air quantity be less than five cubic feet per minute per person.


E) Air duct openings to cells and detention rooms shall be security screened and secured with tamper proof screws or welded to the floor or wall.


F) Heating and ventilation systems shall comply with the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.


11) Lighting


A) Prison-type security light fixtures shall be provided in cells or detention rooms that provide at least 20 footcandles illumination at 30" above the finished floor.


B) Illumination level must be of sufficient intensity to clearly light cells or detention rooms for visual supervision from the cell door at all times.


C) Lights must be switch controlled from outside the cells or detention rooms.


D) Security fixtures shall be used in corridors and vestibules.


12) Cell or Detention Room Bunks

Bunks shall be of metal or concrete construction securely anchored to walls or floor or otherwise integrally constructed.


13) Monitoring System


A) An audio or audio-visual monitoring system shall be installed in the cell or detention room area.


B) Cells and detention rooms shall be equipped with at least an auditory monitoring system to allow the jailer to check activities and to provide a means for a confined person to advise the jailer of emergency situations.


14) Emergency Exits


A) There shall be at least one direct emergency exit from a cell block in addition to the cellblock entrance door, where the detention area totals 1200 square feet or more, or where the corridor has a dead end exceeding 50 feet.


B) Every emergency exit shall be clearly marked in accordance with local and State codes.


15) Visiting Area

Semi-private compartments or a visiting room shall be provided to allow detainees to communicate with authorized visitors.


16) Emergency Power Source


A) An emergency electrical power source must be available in the event of a power failure.


B) The emergency power source must be of sufficient capacity to operate electrical locking devices and other electrical equipment and to provide minimum lighting within the jail and its perimeter.


(Source: Amended at 22 Ill. Reg. 19227, effective November 1, 1998)