WEBER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – There are 83 cases of COVID-19 at the Weber County Jail and leaders expect that number to rise after the outbreak last week.
Despite the outbreak, the jail is operating as “normal” and is still releasing and taking in new inmates. ABC4’s Jordan Verdadeiro met with the spokesperson for the jail and someone in the community who is trying to help inmates who are sick and have been released with nowhere to go.
COVID-19 hit the Weber County Jail causing an outbreak, but according to Joshua Marigoni, justice can’t be put on hold during a pandemic and the facility operates 24/7.
“There’s still a need for us to protect the community by housing people in jail and holding them in custody while they go through their court process,” said Lt. Joshua Marigoni.
A recent controversy hit the Ogden community Facebook page. Some are concerned inmates are being released despite testing positive at the jail during the outbreak, and inmates not having anywhere to go because they’re sick. Bobbi Flint is one person of many on the page who’ve offered to help inmates that don’t have any options after being released.
“Supplies, maybe tents, toiletries, and food and water and sunblock and things you think you would need to use out there,” said Ogden resident, Bobbi Flint.
Inmates have been taken in and released as normal, with extra precautions, according to Marigoni. And once inmates are released, they are not the jail’s responsibility.
“When somebody comes up for release, at the jail, holding them any longer would be against their rights,” said Marigoni.
Marigoni says resources during the pandemic for inmates once released, are slim. They’ve been given some information on the virus, but that’s it.
“We care about people but we, Weber County, don’t have the resources as government to put people up in housing and things like that,” said Marigoni.
“It’s all up in the air on what we can do to help these people and we have to come together as a community to help them out,” said Flint.
Flint says if anyone is interested in helping inmates who are trying to isolate in Ogden, to send her a message on Facebook @ Bobbi Flint