Concern grows after COVID-19 detected at Cook County Jail

Coronavirus

CHICAGO – Like in other states, COVID-19 has been detected in jail systems.

At the Cook County Jail, concern is growing after two detainees and a correctional officer recently tested positive for the virus.

Some inmates who have committeed non-violent crimes have been released in an effort to reduce crowding. In recent weeks, officials have been identifying who should get out and when they should be released.

Efforts at the jail have been sped up to release more inmates. Sheriff Tom Dart said previous efforts have been too slow.

“It took us eight days to get 100 people out. That’s too slow. Not enough. We need 4-500 a day getting out, until we can depopulate the jail,” Sheriff Dart said. “100 people, with 30-40 coming in every day, that’s not depopulating the jail.”

Sheriff Dart said only so many can be processed in and out of the jail on a given day and some people just cannot be let out.

“We have violence in Chicago. People in here are charged with serious offenses,” Sheriff Dart said. “There are limited things you can do here, other than what we have been doing.”

The correctional officer who tested possible is in quarantine at home.

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