waiting at 27th and Cal

By strazz

June 15, 2009

Category: Daily work


I spent a good chunk of my afternoon today waiting outside of the Cook County Jail at 27th and California in Chicago.

Waiting along with me was a mix of family and friends anticipating the release of their various loved ones.

I was there to photograph a man, who is one of many intertwined in the scandal-plagued administration of Cook County President Todd Stroger, being released on bond.

The scene at 27th and Cal is a somber one.

A mix of folk milling about or sitting around, some for hours, as the wheels of the department of corrections slowly turn.

I made small talk with almost all of them over the course of the time I spent there. Every conversation started with someone asking me, “Who are you here to photograph?” After my answer came a wave of relief as the person was pleased to hear that I wasn’t there to photograph the one that they were waiting for.

I documented the scene as I waited with the most poignant image being of the Hernandez family as they waited for a male relative to be released.

A bit before 6pm, my guy was released and I got my picture as he sprinted past me and the Hernanadez family.

I headed out with a feeling of sadness as I left the Hernandez’ behind to wait some more.


2 Responses to “waiting at 27th and Cal”

  1. As I read this and look at your picture I too feel sad for that family, do you know if their loved one ever got released?

    • Jennifer, I would assume so but there was another gentleman there at 6pm who had been waiting since 8am for his son to be let go. I think the Cook County Jail isn’t too concerned with how long family members have to wait.

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