Lockdowns spike at county jail after layoffs

DOWNTOWN — Inmate lockdowns at the county jail have spiked after correctional officer layoffs this year.

The Rockford Register Star reports Winnebago County Jail inmates spent a combined total of nearly 500 hours on lockdown in October, when 10 corrections officers were laid off because of budget cuts. The number of hours surged to almost 2,000 the next month.

During lockdowns, cell doors are kept shut instead of allowing inmates the chance to leave their cells in the mornings.

While lockdowns are mostly for the jail’s disciplinary section, they’ve recently been used for the general population as the jail deals with having fewer correction officers and overtime cutbacks.

Inmates and officers say the long lockdown hours contribute to a dangerous environment, but jail officials say they have no choice with budget constraints.

–Associated Press

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