File Photo – McHenry County Jail in Woodstock | Photo: Google Street View

The McHenry County Jail has passed its yearly inspection by the Illinois Department of Corrections after four inmates died in the custody of the jail last year.

Illinois Department of Corrections Criminal Justice Specialist Sara Johnson conducted compliance monitoring at the McHenry County Jail on February 15.

A partially released report from the inspection showed entrance and exit interviews were conducted with staff.

The report noted that improvements to the jail were made since the last inspection, which included the purchase of new mattresses and clothing and the hiring of additional staff.

The report said the jail was in compliance with Illinois county jail standards and no recommendations were made for changes.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that the health and safety standards review is conducted annually by the IDOC.

“We applaud the hard work of our Corrections Bureau for ensuring the McHenry County Jail meets or exceeds IDOC standards and extend our gratitude to IDOC for their time and expertise,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

In 2023, four inmates of the McHenry County Jail died while in custody.

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31-year-old Colton Sabo was found unresponsive in his cell on July 28.

He was transported to Northwestern Medicine Hospital in McHenry and pronounced dead the following day.

A report from the incident said a corrections officer was conducting his clock tour and discovered Sabo unresponsive sitting on his bunk in his cell.

A “Code 3” request for an AED and paramedics was made by radio. Responding officers lowered Sabo to the ground and began chest compressions, the report said.

AED pads were applied but “no shock was advised,” the report said.

Officers continued CPR until paramedics arrived approximately 11 minutes later and took over lifesaving measures.

The McHenry County Major Incident Assistance Team (MIAT) conducted an investigation into the death alongside the coroner’s office.

The final cause of death was listed as undetermined and the manner of death was also undetermined, according to the McHenry County Coroner’s Office.

Extensive toxicology testing and vitreous electrolytes were non-contributory to Sabo’s death, McHenry County Coroner Dr. Michael Rein said.

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Sabo was diagnosed with anoxic brain injury and cerebral edema while at the hospital.

“This was determined to have no significant cause to Mr. Sabo’s death,” Rein said in January.

Sabo had a history of seizure disorder and polysubstance abuse, the coroner said.

At the time of Sabo’s death, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office did not proactively release any information notifying the community of the death.

Sean Grendel, 51, of McHenry, died on November 21 after he was also found unresponsive in his cell at the jail.

Grendel was found in a single-occupied cell and corrections officers attempted lifesaving measures and called the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District.

Paramedics took over lifesaving measures, which were unsuccessful, the sheriff’s office said.

On December 3, an inmate being held for attempted murder after allegedly shooting a rifle at sheriff’s deputies near Harvard in 2022 died while awaiting trial.

Randall B. Little, 59, of Harvard, had been transported to a hospital from the jail on October 20 due to his health.

Little was then transferred to a hospice care facility on November 13 and remained under guard until his death, which was from a terminal illness.

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Timothy Mumford, 74, of Johnsburg, was found unresponsive in his cell around 4 p.m. on December 5.

Mumford was in a single-occupied booking cell and corrections officers at the jail began performing lifesaving measures on Mumford.

The Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded and took over lifesaving measures, which were unsuccessful.

Mumford was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.

The three inmate deaths in a two-week span prompted the sheriff’s office to issue a lengthy statement saying they are “transparent” and “faithfully serve the community, promoting the safety and equal protection of all.”

“This Office has been fully transparent in providing information in conjunction with McHenry County Sheriff’s Office General Orders, policy and procedures, state laws, and the consideration of affected families,” the sheriff’s office said.

“McHenry County Sheriff’s Office empathizes with members of our community and the families affected by these losses,” the sheriff’s office said.