Cook County Jail in Chicago was placed on lockdown Tuesday morning after nearly a fifth of the jail’s staff didn’t show up for their shift.
Just after 8 a.m., the Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced 18 percent of the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift staffing didn't make it into work, therefore a lockdown was put in place to ensure officer safety.
There are 793 workers on staff at the jail for the morning shift, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Cara Smith. Tuesday morning 142 of them didn't come in.
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The jail receives an average of 83 call-ins on a Tuesday, Smith said. As to why so many took off on the same day, Smith says the jail “can only assume” it is weather-related, but there is no way to know for sure.
Chicago is in the midst of a bitter cold snap after more than three inches of snow fell across much of Cook County on Monday.
The lockdown at Cook County Jail will remain in place until Wednesday morning to ensure staffing levels return to a normal level. Until then inmates will only be allowed to move for medical reasons, emergencies, and visitation.