Cuyahoga County Jail accepts help from Ohio National Guard as COVID-19 increases


Efforts continue to reduce jail population

CLEVELAND (WJW)– The number of coronavirus cases in the Cuyahoga County Jail inmate population continue to increase.

On Thursday, 190 inmates were positive for COVID-19 of 1,353. On Friday, that number jumped to 237 out of the 1,351 inmates. That’s 17 percent of inmates at the jail.

“This virus is everywhere in Cuyahoga County and this community spike is reflected in our jail,” said Cuyahoga County Chief of Public Safety and Justice Services Bob Coury, in a statement on Friday. “We understand the health risk that COVID can present. We will continue to provide the best care possible for the inmates who remain and assure a safe environment for our employees.”

Coury said the jail continues to try to release as many inmates as possible. According to the county, about 75 percent of those currently incarcerated at the jail have outstanding warrants, or have been arrested for sexual or violent offenses.

“Since this pandemic began, every day we and our justice partners have worked to release those inmates who do not present a serious threat to the community,” Coury said.

To further reduce the number of inmates, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department issued an order releasing remaining municipal misdemeanors offenders, with the exception of those charged with domestic violence.

Coury said the jail will accept Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s offer for the Ohio National Guard to provide support.

In July 2019, there were about 2,300 inmates at the Cuyahoga County Jail.

Related video, below: I-TEAM: See how millions of masks are being made right here in Northeast Ohio

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