50 prisoners stuck in Winnebago jail as Illinois stops inmate transfers

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Increasing COVID-19 numbers has the Illinois Department of Corrections closing its doors to new inmates.

IDOC is temporarily pausing transfers from county jails while the state gets a COVID-19 outbreak under control. That means that any inmates currently in the Winnebago County Jail that were sentenced and scheduled to move to an IDOC facility can not.

Sheriff Gary Caruana said that there are currently 50 inmates in that position, and the longer they stay in Winnebago County, the more it will cost taxpayers.

“We’re doing everything we have to do, and we can’t just close the doors and say ‘OK, because of COVID, we’re not accepting anybody,’ like they’re doing,” Caruana said. “I don’t understand how we could adapt, and they can’t. And then, as far as the cost, the cost is, you know, put onto our residents of the Winnebago County- Rockford region.”

There are roughly 740 inmates in the jail now, according to Caruana, and 30% have chosen to get vaccinated.

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