At least nine people were injured during a skirmish at the Cook County Jail in Chicago. According to Cook County sheriff’s spokeswoman Sophia Ansari, the injuries happened when fights broke out in the maximum security area of the jail known as division 9. During one of the brawls, a correctional deputy was struck with a food tray that one of the inmates hurled, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Division 9 is the maximum security division of the Cook County that houses individuals charged with a variety of offenses that range from murder, rape, and domestic abuse. The reason for the fight has yet to be determined. The injured have been transported to Stroger Hospital and other surrounding hospitals in the area. The Chicago Fire Dept. spokesman Larry Langford mentioned that eight inmates and one correctional officer were stabbed.
The response to the fight was “massive” due to protocol — each patient is transported individually, with an officer and a follow-up car trailing the ambulance, Langford said.
Cook County Jail houses a large number of Black men. A study done by David E. Olson or Loyola University in 2012 mentions that in 2011 the typical inmate admitted to and discharged from the Cook County Jail is a single African American male from Chicago averaging 32 years old at admission. Among those admitted, 67 percent are African American, 19 percent Hispanic and 14 percent White.
Information about this specific incident continues to be released. As recently as April of 2016 Cook County was ordered to pay $1.4 million to settle jail civil rights cases. There is speculation that the lack of correctional officers on duty may have added to the scope of injury. This speculation arises because of an incident in July of this year when 317 officers called off on Father’s Day.