A Chicago Jail Went on Lockdown After Hundreds of Workers Called Out on Mother’s Day

May 15, 2017

A Chicago jail went on lockdown Sunday after hundreds of officers called out on Mother’s Day for the second year in a row, authorities said.

More than 500 correctional officers failed to show up for their shifts at Cook County Jail, including more than 200 for the day shift, according to Cara Smith, a spokeswoman at the Cook County sheriff’s office.

The lack of workers forced the city's main jail to go on lockdown, meaning all programs were shut down and inmates were confined to their cells or living quarters for the day unless they needed medical attention or had a scheduled visit. “It has just a horrific impact,” Smith said. “This is an ongoing and very challenging matter.”

Smith said the only time other than Mother's Day the facility has seen “anything close to these numbers” of absent workers was when the Super Bowl coincided with a massive blizzard in 2015.

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