Cook County Jail out of electronic monitoring devices in push to reduce inmate population amid COVID-19 crisis

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Cook County Jail has run out of electronic monitoring devices.

The efforts to reduce jail population during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a skyrocketing demand in equipment.

Jail officials say they are working to address the supply issues but asked for assistance from other county officials.

RELATED: Former mayoral candidate Willie Wilson bails out 12 Cook County Jail detainees amid COVID-19 outbreak
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Wilson also donated 10,000 face masks for other detainees and staff at the jail.



Because of the shortage, anyone assigned to electronic monitoring will be held at the jail until a judge modifies their bond.

In a letter to stakeholders, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said as of March 1, the jail population was 5,604. On Thursday it was 4,064. He also said the electronic monitoring program saw a 30% increase since May 2017, almost all of which took place over the last two months.

The jail has come under national scrutiny as a COVID-19 hotspot.
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