ROCKFORD, Ill. — An Illinois Department of Corrections inspection has found inmates have spent too many hours on lockdown in the Winnebago County jail.

The Rockford Register Star obtained the December report this week from the Winnebago County clerk. The report also found that officers routinely failed to observe inmates in their cells in a timely manner. The state agency recommends the sheriff increase security staff to improve safety for inmates and corrections officers.

The report comes as inmates have filed more than 20 lawsuits for “excessive and unwarranted lockdowns.” Sheriff Gary Caruana’s office and the county board are at odds over a $4.3 million cut to the sheriff’s budget. The sheriff says he needs the money to adequately staff the jail and reduce lockdowns. However some board members have criticized him for not allocating resources differently.

Information from: Rockford Register Star,

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