Morgan County’s Detention Facility is currently protecting employees and inmates with extra precautions during the COVID-19 outbreak. Morgan County Sheriff Mike Carmody says that the sheriff’s office was actually out ahead of the major uptick of the virus. “We actually closed down the jail prior to being told to. The front lobby has been closed. We have temperature gauges being used on inmates who have been brought to our county jail. We test them outside to see if they have a temperature before bringing them inside. Any employee that comes in from outside, we test them. These are just some of the things we’ve been doing for over a couple of weeks now.”
Carmody says that the county court is still functioning and attorneys are still allowed in the jail to defend clients. “We still allow the attorneys into the jail, but we take their temperature before they go inside. If not, we encourage them to do a phone conference with their client through one of our visitation booths. As far as total inmates, we have 27 currently in the jail and those are people who have felonies or who have been sentenced.”
Carmody says that the county is working up video hearings for first appearances for major crimes for felony arrests. Carmody said that he has read of the Illinois Department of Corrections releasing some criminals from prison early for longer mandatory supervised release periods. He said its a similar program that he has seen in the state before. He said all cases of release will come through the Morgan County State’s Attorney’s Office. He says it’s not a mass release and will only apply to certain non-violent, low level offenders. The release program comes on the heels of U.S. Attorney General William Barr asking the US Bureau of Federal Prisons to release elderly and sick federal inmates to home confinement to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Carmody said that the Sheriff’s Office is currently on the look out for people scamming the elderly during the pandemic. “I haven’t heard of any scams here in Morgan County. However, I have heard of several scams on the elderly trying to, because of the virus, through emails or phone calls trying to get them to send money for supplies and it ends up being a scam. They end up taking credit card numbers and check and routing numbers over the phone. I hope people are being particularly careful right now.”
Carmody said that Sheriff’s Department will take any information if you have received a scam call or email that is suspicious. To report any suspicious activity, call 243-6123.