May 14 (UPI) – Cook County Jail in Chicago was placed on lockdown for the second Mother’s Day in a row because so many employees did not show up for work.

Thirty-five percent of those assigned to the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift (206) Sunday called in sick or invoked the Family Medical Leave Act for the shift, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said. The represents 35 percent of those scheduled to work.

And at 3 p.m. Sunday, about 25 percent of staff for the second shift of the day also had called in sick.

“It’s the perfect storm of situations: It’s Mother’s Day and there is beautiful weather,” Cara Smith, a spokesman for the sheriff, said to the Chicago Tribune. “Unfortunately, it’s devastating to the people who do come to work and for the taxpayers.”

Because not enough officers show up ensure their safety and the officers’ safety, the jail divisions are placed on lockdown with all movements limited. Jail programs for the detainees were canceled but visitation wasn’t called off, the sheriff’s office said.

“We continue to find ways to curb the absenteeism, but we have very few tools in the toolbox,” Smith said.

During last year’s Mother’s Day, 420 officers called in sick. One month later, more than 520 officers called in sick on Father’s Day and the following Monday.

Twenty percent of the staff also didn’t show up for Mother’s Day in 2015.

On May 2, 2015, the same day boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao faced off, nearly 640 officers called off work.

On Sunday, there were 7,653 inmates “behind walls,” according to the sheriff’s office website.

The entire Cook County Department of Corrections complex — 10 divisions — is on 96 acres and admits 100,000 detainees annually and has employs more than 3,800 correctional offices and support staff.



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