Department of Corrections Again Stops Taking County Jail Inmates


Published on January 13 2022 4:39 pm
Last Updated on January 13 2022 4:39 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) is temporarily pausing intakes from county jails as it responds to COVID-19 outbreaks at correctional facilities. These facilities include the Graham, Logan, Menard and Northern Reception and Classification Centers where county jails transport new admissions.

IDOC is utilizing space normally reserved for new admissions to safely quarantine and isolate incarcerated individuals 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. Individual requests for intakes due to special circumstances, such as medical or safety concerns, will be considered. 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,” said IDOC Director Rob Jeffreys. “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.”

IDOC is continuing its aggressive response to COVID-19 across facilities. All staff and individuals in custody are temperature checked, masked, symptom screened and routinely tested. 75% of the incarcerated population and 66% of staff are vaccinated against COVID-19. Additionally, thousands of individuals in custody and staff have taken advantage of multiple on-site opportunities to receive a booster shot. IDOC continues to work closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health, infectious disease consultants, and correctional agencies across the nation to ensure best practices and protect the health and safety of those inside its facilities.

When a similar situation occurred earlier in the pandemic, the Illinois Sheriffs Association sued to get the Department of Corrections to resume receiving inmates.

Effingham County Sheriff Paul Kuhns said there is the possibility of some reimbursement to cover the added costs to the county of having to maintain the inmates, and will be seeking that reimbursement from the State.