PARIS, Ill. (WTHI) - It's a story we've brought to you for several years: the poor and unsafe conditions of the Edgar County jail. But, a recent inspection by the state has gotten the State's Attorney General's office involved.
It looks like something out of a movie or a third world; jail cells that keep inmates cooped up like livestock.
But it's a reality that Sheriff Ed Motley has worked to change since he took office.
"I did send a letter to the state drafting everything I wanted to do or try to do and I asked them to come in again and continue looking at this place," Motley said.
The sheriff has said time and again, the county has no money to fix the situation. The jail continues to receive failing grades from the state.
Then last month he received a letter from the Illinois department of corrections which said the failing conditions of the jail would now be turned over to the Attorney General's office.
"They (Attorney General's Office) come in and say we'll close you down if you don't fix it," he said. "Its too bad to be repaired even then they'll close you down
But closing down the jail creates another problem. The sheriff would have to find housing in other counties for the inmates. He said that would cost around 150,000 dollars for the minimum number of inmates.
"There is grants there that say if your building a new facility the portion for the jail they can grant you up to 4 million dollars," Motley said.
The only problem is, the state of Illinois as you may have heard is in a tough budget situation. But, Sheriff Motley still is looking for a long term answer.
"We've got a company coming in a few weeks to talk to us about a new facility and what its gonna cost us," he said.
But as to whether or not they have the money to get started Sheriff Motley said probably not. For now he just hopes the letter gets the state's attention that something needs to be done.
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