‘Everything at once,’ Peoria County’s sheriff talks COVID-19 impacts on jail staffers, employees

Central Illinois Newsday

PEORIA COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD)– The Peoria County Jail is seeing a rise in cases of COVID-19. Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell confirms eight new cases Thursday morning.

The added positive cases is bringing the total number of detainee’s with the virus to 29. Staff and employees now at 14. 168 of those incarcerated have been tested for the virus. 133 people have tested negative.

Sheriff Asbell said 90 people are waiting on results or to have the test taken. He said the stresses of the job, plus COVID-19 is weighing heavy on staffers.

It’s different when you go into a work environment where you know there’s a known exposure risk, because these men and women have to go home too. They have families, they have kids, and so it’s really kind of beaten them up on the mental side and it’s just everything at once and it’s really hard to manage.

Sheriff Brian Asbell, Peoria County Sheriff’s Department

The Peoria County jail has restricted from visitors and non-essential and volunteer workers.

Also, category B offenses, which are high felonies, are the only arrests transferable to the Peoria County Jail. Category A offenses are nonviolent crimes. If there is a category A offense carried out in the field or on a warrant the arresting agency would have to give the offender a notice to appear in court.

The Peoria County Administrator said he knew inmates would eventually test positive for COVID-19.

“If anyone thought we were going to escape unscathed with no positives in the jail it’s not realistic to think that,” Sorrel said.

Tazewell County Sheriff, Jeff Lower said if Peoria County’s sheriff asked him to hold inmates he would consider it, but adds Peoria County is not his jurisdiction.

Sorrel said the Peoria County Sheriff has a COVID-19 contingency plan, adding he is confident that all departments can continue to deliver services with budget cuts, even the jail.

Latest Headlines

Stay Connected

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News

More Local News