Chicago / 23.03.2021 23:15:49
About 1,000 inmates scheduled for release in the next nine months could be released from Illinois prisons early as part of a settlement related to a federal lawsuit filed a year ago. in the midst of the health crisis due to covid-19 in state prisonsreported Tuesday a lawyer involved in the matter.
The deal calls for the release of low- and medium-risk inmates who have less than nine months remaining on their sentence and are eligible for good behavior, according to a court document filed Tuesday. The Illinois Department of Corrections agreed to “do its best” to process the anticipated releases within the next month, the document says.
Attorney Sheila Bedi said the agreement applies to about 1,000 inmates. She also indicated that she believes thousands more prisoners should be released.
“It’s still a public health crisis,” Bedi, who is a professor at Northwestern University, told The Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. “It’s still a real problem.”
Jordan AbudayyehGovernor’s Press Secretary J.B. Pritzkersaid in a statement that the Department of Corrections has reviewed the prisoner registry to find those who are eligible for optional sentence credits of 180 days or less.
Since the disaster proclamation of March 9, 2020 for this pandemic, “the Department has prioritized these eligibility reviews in order to increase the availability of spaces for quarantine and isolation of the prison population,” Abudayyeh declared on Tuesday.
A consortium of Chicago civil rights attorneys and activists sued to release up to 13,000 inmates.
The lawyers argued that prisons “pose a particular risk of the spread of COVID-19, with catastrophic consequences not only for prisoners and prison staff, but also for their communities and the hospitals that serve them.”
The suit alleged that Pritzker and others had not acted quickly enough to identify vulnerable inmates for early release.
Since the pandemic began, 87 inmates and one jail staff member have died from Covid-19, and nearly 11,000 inmates and 4,000 prison workers have tested positive, according to statistics from the Illinois Department of Corrections.