Concerns grow following attacks on corrections officers at Cuyahoga County Jail

Updated: May. 13, 2020 at 3:43 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Concern is growing after two corrections officers at the Cuyahoga County Jail were attacked by inmates recently.

Like jails and prisons across the country, COVID-19 has made its way into the Cuyahoga County Jail. Numerous inmates and staff members have tested positive for the virus.

According to the Cuyahoga County executive’s office, as of Tuesday evening, there are currently 52 inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 in custody at the jail. An additional 231 inmates are in exposure isolation and 56 inmates have recovered.

The coronavirus brings on new concerns for staff members after a corrections officer was spit on by an inmate that tested positive.

“The inmate who did this was already in the hole,” said Adam Chaloupka with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which represents corrections officers. “He should be prosecuted so we can prevent this from happening again.”

According to documents obtained by 19 News, the incident took place on April 27, but a report on the incident wasn’t filed until May 6. The officer involved has since tested negative for the virus.

“It’s just luck he didn’t get COVID-19 from that inmate,” said Chaloupka.

On May 10, another corrections officer had to go to the hospital after being punched in the face by another inmate. The officer suffered a concussion and several broken bones in his face.

Both cases have been turned over to the prosecutor’s office for possible charges.

Meanwhile, the union is negotiating with county officials for hazard pay.

“The job is now more dangerous than it ever has been,” said Chaloupka.

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