Innocent lives are at stake

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted to The Pantagraph by DSA Member Candice Byrd. You can read it as published on their website.

So many folks in the community have warned McLean County and specific members of the Justice Committee of the pandemic reaching the insides of the jail. We were ignored and practically laughed at by Sheriff Sandage since he “had everything under control” and was “taking precautions.”

Well it has hit the county, and so many innocent lives are at stake. There are folks within the county just awaiting a bond hearing, cannot afford bond before trial, or are serving the remainder of their sentencing within those county walls with no transport needed to IDOC. This is infuriating to know that COVID-19 is going to spread like wildfire within these walls, and there will be no urgent medical assistance to some of these people.

I can say that with all honesty as I know all too well what goes on behind those cell doors, especially in the medical area. It is not to say that the medical staff are incompetent, but the attention and care that is given to each individual there is less than subpar if not inhumane. These are human lives we are talking about, and no CO, officer or sheriff bothered to wear a mask or take those “precautionary” measures Sandage speaks so highly of.

If they even bother to get tested in order to prevent this from happening. This is no one’s fault but McLean County — not Pritzker and definitely not the inmates.

What will MCDC do now? If even one person dies?

Candice Byrd, Bloomington