Illinois prisons pause county intakes due to pandemic

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FILE: Generic jail/prison corridor (Photo credit: Getty)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Corrections has temporarily paused intakes from county jails because of COVID-19 outbreaks at prisons, the agency said Tuesday.

The affected prison facilities include the Graham, Logan, Menard and Northern Reception and Classification Centers, where county jails transport new admissions.

County sheriffs were notified Tuesday, the agency said.

The IDOC is using space normally reserved for new admissions to safely quarantine and isolate prisoners who have been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19.

The department will continue accepting individuals from county jails who are scheduled to be released from custody the same day they are transferred.

When COVID-19 cases decline, IDOC expects space to become available for county jail intakes.

“Congregate living facilities present unique infection control challenges due to the lack of quarantine and isolation space,” IDOC Director Rob Jeffreys said in a news release. “The Department recognizes the hardships county jails face when we cannot accept admissions, but we must take aggressive action to keep the community and everyone who lives and works in our facilities safe and healthy.”

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