CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A lockdown at Cook County Jail was lifted Monday morning after more than 20 percent of its correctional officers called off work Sunday, possibly because of Mother’s Day.
The lockdown at 27th Street and California Avenue was initiated for officer safety due to the staffing shortage and limited inmates’ movement to medical emergencies and visitation, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.
“We suspect it was Mother’s Day-related, and, while we wish all our staff could have spent time with their moms and families, we have to run the jail, which is a 24/7 operation, and keep detainees and staff safe,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.
For the shift from 11 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday, 124 workers called in sick or took a personal day. That’s almost 28 percent of the 450 officers assigned to a typical overnight shift, Ansari said.
From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., another 164 officers called in — about 22 percent of the 730-officer day shift; and 136 officers called in from 3 to 11 p.m., more than 21 percent of the usual 640 officers.
Staff levels returned to normal for Monday’s 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift and the lockdown was lifted.
Another staffing shortage led to a jail lockdown in January.