Knox County to ease Cook County Jail overcrowding

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The Cook County Jail is overcrowded, and Knox County plans to relieve them of some inmates.

Knox County could receive 15-20 Cook County inmates with a great financial benefit.

According to the Knox County Sheriff Department, Knox County would receive 50 dollars per inmate per day. Bringing 100,000 dollars annually to the county.

Knox County currently receives nearly 1 million dollars per year for housing federal prisoners.

The county expects there to be a positive economic impact on the area.

Stan Devlin, the co-owner of Cherry Street Bar and Grill in Galesburg,welcomes the plan.

"It would bring revenue to the city and I'm sure it would bring more customers in for us too," said Devlin.

Devlin is not the only person in Galesburg who views this as an opportunity for growth.

Barbara Engstrom works in Galesburg and knows the county could use the money.

"It seems like a positive influence for all. They need the space and we need the income," said Engstrom.

Those who are opposed to housing the Cook County inmates fear for safety of both the guards and inmates.

Jenna Suydam disapproves of the plan.

"I think it could be dangerous for our inmates," she continued, "Cook County inmates are known for their violence," said Suydam.

Cook County has roughly 9,000 inmates in their jail. The Knox County jail's capacity is 120 inmates. That number has been close to being reached in the past.

The Knox County Sheriff's Department stated that they would not approve of the plan if they didn't have the room.

Nothing is finalized yet, but Knox County is taking all possible measures to gain revenue.

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