Every year, Illinois incarcerates over 250,000 people who are awaiting trial. None of these people have been convicted of a crime, and most are jailed simply because they can’t afford to pay a money bond. Pretrial incarceration is hurting communities across our state.
Please call in today and for release of folx in Cook County jail. A reminder that of the 250,000 people locked up in Illinois jails, 90% are there PRE-TRIAL because they can't afford bond. Those numbers are bad enough, but now with COVID-19 numbers rising, and seven people have died on COVD19 in Cook County jail, we can make calls to save lives.
Phone: (312) 603-6444
“Hi, my name is ______ and I live in _________. I’m calling to demand that the Cook County Sheriff’s Office take steps to dramatically lower the number of people in jail in response to COVID-19 and ensure that anyone in his custody is able to practice social distancing.”
Office of the Chief Judge
Phone: (312) 603-6000
“Hi, my name is ______ and I live in _________. I’m calling to demand that the Cook County Chief Judge take steps to dramatically lower the number of people in jail in response to COVID-19. This means facilitating bond review hearings for people currently in jail and instructing judges not to admit new people to the jail.”
Read more from our friends at the Chicago Community Bond Fund.
by Abbie VanSickle
The Marshall Project
The coronavirus-stricken prisoners kept off the books. Officials in Santa Barbara County faced a dilemma weeks ago. They desperately wanted permission from California authorities to “reopen” their local economy as the coronavirus ebbed in the state. But a major outbreak of COVID-19 at FCI Lompoc, the federal prison there, had skewed the metrics. Santa Barbara resolved its problem by lobbying state officials to exclude prisoners from relevant public health analyses. “It’s a fiction,” says a justice reform advocate. It’s also a scenario likely to be repeated in other counties across the country where prisons are COVID-19 hotspots. Read more...
by Madison Alder
Judges are interpreting the law on the fly as they face an unprecedented spike in requests for “compassionate release” from prison, coming to different conclusions about what can be done in the context of a pandemic. The swell of requests for what’s known as compassionate release come after the passage of a law, written before the Covid-19 outbreak, that made it easier for those requests to be filed with the courts.
by C.J. Ciaramella
"The numbers and dire news stories underscore what civil liberties groups and correctional officer unions have been trying to warn local, state, and federal agencies about since COVID-19 reached the country: that jails and prisons were woefully unprepared to handle an epidemic, and that those institutions would inevitably spread the virus into nearby communities unless drastic measures were taken."
by Megan Crepeau
"Jeffrey Pendleton spent much of his adult life in a cell...Warren and his surviving brother, Donnell Todd, have sued Cook County in federal court, alleging that the sheriff’s office violated his rights by shackling him to his hospital bed in his final days.
'You should not even leave a dog chained up all day, not even animals should be chained up all day. He was chained up for days. And sick,' Pendleton said.
'That was an injustice to my brother. First of all he wasn’t convicted, he was a detainee. Awaiting trial, he couldn’t even go to trial because they shut the court system down," he said. "Nobody, incarcerated or detainee, they should not be dying in there. Nobody should die in there.'"
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive