Jerome Combs Detention Center

Jerome Combs Detention Center

KANKAKEE — A Kankakee County inmate is back in jail after being mistakenly released on Thursday afternoon.

According to Kankakee County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ken McCabe, Ernest S. Cooley, 29, whose residence is listed as Chicago by the sheriff’s office, was released from Jerome Combs Detention Center by Corrections Department personnel after he paid the required 10 percent of a $10,000 bond.

Earlier Thursday, a Kankakee County circuit judge had set Cooley’s bond at $100,000. As such, Cooley needed to pay $10,000 in order to be released.

Cooley’s mother, who lives in Kankakee, brought him back to Jerome Combs Detention Center, McCabe said.

McCabe said there was some confusion in processing as a second inmate had a $10,000 bond (10 percent to apply).

“We messed up. There was some confusion. We did not communicate,” McCabe said. “This was one of those faux pas. We are human, and we make mistakes.

“As we always do, we will look into the matter and see what went wrong and make the proper changes where needed,” he said.

Cooley was arrested by Kankakee Police on July 15.

The Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Cooley with predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13, criminal sexual assault of a family member under the age of 18 and criminal sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 18.

Jeff Bonty is a reporter for The Daily Journal. He can be reached at and 815-937-3366.


Jeff Bonty has worked for The Daily Journal since September 1986, starting in the sports department before moving to news reporting in 2002. He's a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University. His email is