While Covid-19 strikes jails and prisons, there is NO way authorities will be able to maintain sufficient staffing over time. Vulnerabilities and incidents such as this will continue as long as the jail keeps holding on to everyone instead of letting the non-violent out so there is enough staffing to keep violent inmates in order.

Had this pod been single-celled too, there could have been less injury.This shows both jail understaffing and poor logistical planning. Why was there only ONE guard on the catwalk and seemingly in the max pod at the start of the incident, and why was there no water in the cell to begin with given the guard is passing out food? Usually max pods have two officers to let inmates in and out of their cells. The officer’s physical position by the open door is innately vulnerable given the layout of the catwalk in relation to its staircase. The guard’s actions and movements before the attack are far too sloppy and unguarded. They left him vulnerable to attack not only by the inmate but the other door he unlocks while the inmate is freely moving around downstairs and unmonitored. With 2 officers it would not have involved soap because water should have been brought to the cell; not the inmate to the water.

This shows how the job of caring for inmates can render guards vulnerable and contradicts with their jobs and training to keep order. Guards aren’t used to having to do the amount of direct care and contact with inmates as they have to do with Covid-19 right now. When guards have to do something new they ordinarily don’t do and in ways they don’t normally have to do them; it wreaks havoc with the established methods in place that they already know how to follow in order to do their jobs safely.

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VIDEO: Cook County Jail inmate attacks guards, steals keys, releases other prisoners

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