The horrific new jail home of Jussie Smollett

As one might imagine from a prison, Jussie Smollett’s new digs are quite frightening.

Hundreds of complaints have been filed against the Cook County Jail, where the “Empire” actor will spend the next 150 days, alleging overcrowding, abusive treatment, and a lack of protection against other inmates.

Only a few months ago, a detainee claimed that the jail forced him to share a cell with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Another inmate accused prisons personnel of using “excessive force” on him to the point that he “lost consciousness” in a lawsuit obtained by The Post earlier this year.

“When I came back I was face down in a pool of my own blood with a gash on my forehead,” the man said in the initial complaint, filed on Jan. 13, 2022.

This Sept. 29, 2011 photo shows Section - 5, background, at the Cook County Jail in Chicago, the second largest county jail in the nation, where inmates are processed for release.This Sept. 29, 2011, photo shows Section 5 of the Cook County Jail in Chicago, the largest single-site jail in the nation.

William, a 62-year-old inmate sits on his bottom bunk and works a word puzzle inside the Cook County Jail's Division 2 Dorm 2 in Chicago on June 26, 2014.

William, 62, sits on his bottom bunk and works a word puzzle inside the Cook County Jail’s Division 2, Dorm 2, on June 26, 2014.

Inmates line up to be processed for release on Sept. 29, 2011.Inmates line up to be processed for release on Sept. 29, 2011.

Inmates wait to be processed for release.Inmates wait to be processed for release.

The jail’s conditions were allegedly so bad in 2008 that the US Department of Justice conducted an investigation and issued a report finding that the jail had “failed to adequately protect inmates from harm or risk of harm from other inmates or staff; failed to provide adequate suicide prevention; failed to provide adequate sanitary environmental conditions; failed to provide adequate fire safety precautions; and failed to provide adequate medical care.”

The study also alleged that congestion had caused detainees to sleep on cell floors, leading to a class-action lawsuit and a settlement.

In a more recent event in 2018, scores of inmates were hurt in a large, violent brawl.

The Chicago Human Rights Authority estimates that 100,000 people pass through the facility each year. On a daily basis, some 7,500 people are jailed, the majority of them are awaiting trial and have not yet been convicted.

The facility is the “biggest single-site jail in the country,” according to its website, and it is situated on a massive 96 acres of property. It is divided into ten sections, each with a day room for eating and watching television. A health-care center, a privatized food service, and a commissary are also available.

Smollett, who was convicted of five felonies, including lying to police about a hate crime, was placed in the Division 8 section of the jail — the residential treatment unit, or RTU, which is usually reserved for inmates with injuries or illness.

This booking photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Office shows Jussie Smollett.

In a statement to The Post, a representative for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said that while Smollett “is not being held in solitary confinement” — a practice “abolished” at the jail in 2016 — the performer “is being housed in his own cell, which is monitored by security cameras in the cell and by an officer wearing a body-worn camera who is stationed at the entrance of the cell to ensure that Mr. Smollett is under direct observation at all times.

“As with all detained persons, Mr. Smollett is entitled to have substantial time out of his cell in the common areas on the tier where he is housed, where he is able to use the telephone, watch television, and interact with staff,” the statement continued. “During such times out of cell, other detainees will not be present in the common areas. These protocols are routinely used for individuals ordered into protective custody who may potentially be at risk of harm due to the nature of their charges, their profession or their noteworthy status.

“The safety and security of all detained individuals, including Mr. Smollett, is the Sheriff’s Office’s highest priority,” the department concluded.

After the judge handed down his sentence, the “Empire” actor continued to deny any wrongdoing — even as he was whisked away to Cook County Jail.

Jussie Smollett leaving the Cook County jail in Chicago.

“I’m not guilty!” As he was carried away in handcuffs, Smollett, 39, said. “I should have admitted my guilt a long time ago!”

“I did not do this, and I am not suicidal,” he stated emphatically. “If something happens to me when I get there, I did not do it to myself,” he added.

He was sentenced to five months in prison, but due to congestion, he could be released in two months.

Following his guilty judgment on five counts of felony disorderly conduct, Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 30 months of probation, as well as Linn’s orders to pay the City of Chicago $120,000 in reparations and a $25,000 fine.

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