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Illinois is testing far fewer incarcerated people than many other states. Robust testing is essential to controlling the virus and preventing further unnecessary loss of life. Please call the Illinois Department of Corrections, Governor JB Pritzker, and your state representative and senator, and ask for widespread testing in prisons.STATE BY STATE TESTING COMPARISON
Most regions in Illinois are in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Bars, restaurants, gyms, and salons are open throughout the state, but thousands of incarcerated people still have no indication of when they might see their families or meet with their lawyers, or what criteria will be used to determine a return to visitation.RECOMMENDATIONS
As the global COVID-19 pandemic caused Illinois to shut down, Governor JB Pritzker acknowledged the dangers of our state’s overcrowded prison system. He encouraged Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) facilities to release incarcerated people in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
However, analysis of prison population and release datasets shows IDOC is not actually releasing many people early, and, of those released, there are startling racial inequities.Report & Recommendations
As Illinois enters Phase 4 in the plan to Restore Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker’s office has yet to release public guidance on the plan for Illinois prisons. The Restore Illinois plan identified key benchmarks for movement from Phase 3 to Phase 4.
The road map to move from Phase 3 to Phase 4 indicated testing would need to be “available in (each) region regardless of symptoms or risk factors.” Unfortunately, similar or aligned standards have not been articulated for Illinois prisons.Report & Recommendations
As Illinois shut down in March to protect residents from COVID-19, Restore Justice and the Illinois Prison Project released recommendations to keep people who are incarcerated and prison staff safe. We then released updated recommendations in April.March & April Recommendations
This webinar will help you develop strategies for advocating for your loved ones during this COVID-19 pandemic. Find tips and tools for contacting officials and for demanding better conditions.
This webinar will help you develop strategies for advocating for policy change in Springfield. Our training begins with a set of basics, including information about how the process works and how to engage in a constructive way.
“It is critically important that we know and better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the health, safety, and quality of life of people who are incarcerated in Illinois’ prisons. In order to get this information, JHA conducted our first ever system-wide survey.”Survey Results
This toolkit contacts resources to help file emergency commutation petitions without the help of an attorney, in light of the threat posed by COVID-19.Toolkit
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