Erie County reducing jail population due to COVID-19 concerns

Coronavirus
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ERIE COUNTY, Ohio (WJW)–  Judges in Erie County authorized the release of 30 inmates at the jail due to concerns about the possible spread of COVID-19.

“What that allowed us to do is create a little bit of space for social distancing in the jail,” Sheriff Paul Sigsworth told the FOX 8 I-Team.

The sheriff stressed the inmates that were released were non-violent offenders.

“Anyone in here for a violent crime, any sex offenders, they are not being released,” Sigsworth said. “It’s also important to note that those that did get released are not getting a free pass. They are being supervised on house arrest,  some have ankle monitoring.”

He said the jail also recently sent 8 inmates to prison which also helped free up space.

Sigsworth said a deputy is assigned to stand near the entrance of the department to help limit the amount of people inside the building.

“We are just trying to limit non-essential access,” said Deputy Anthony Gibbs.

Sheriff department employees are also practicing social distancing.

“We are also taking the temperatures of those coming to work and if anyone has a fever they are sent home,” Sigsworth said. “We are taking these measures to keep everyone safe, the employees and inmates.”

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