DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The Macon County Sheriff said 17 “non-violent petty offenders” were released as a precaution during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sheriff Tony Brown said there are no cases of the virus in the Macon County Jail. However, these inmates were released to limit any risk of exposure.
Brown also said they are working with healthcare officials from Crossing Healthcare to make sure their inmates and employees stay healthy. Employees have their temperatures taken before entering the building. They have also converted some area in the building into Negative Pressure Rooms. Brown said these rooms are made to keep contaminants from drifting into other areas.
DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker said while they are not releasing any inmates early, they are taking precautions at this time. He said they are screening anyone that comes into the jail. He said they currently have around 16 inmates. The newest two inmates were brought in on Friday and Saturday. He said they have been kept by themselves for observation.
Officials with the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office said they are working with the state’s attorney to identify any inmates that could be released. They said they are looking at a list every day to identify inmates for potential release. They could not confirm if any inmates have been released yet.
In addition to this, inmates at the Champaign County Jail have access to soap and water at all times. Staff are also trained to recognize signs of COVID-19. Any inmates that exhibit these symptoms are then isolated. New inmates are also isolated for 14 days and observed. Anyone who comes into the jail are also screened.