17 Mar Urgent Recommendations: COVID-19 and Prison Communities
Updated March 17, 2020
Read a more detailed list of recommendations and other information here.
The Illinois Prison Project and Restore Justice are making concrete recommendations to decrease demand on health systems and protect both inmates and communities. Illinois already has laws in place that will allow the State to adopt each recommendation immediately. Find more detail on the below recommendations, including relevant statutes, in the links.
We are asking the Governor to:
- Immediately grant all pending commutation petitions that seek release based on substantiated terminal illness. (authority)
- Encourage IDOC to use its discretion to release elderly people with less than 12 months to serve and people serving Class 2-4 felonies who are vulnerable to serious illness or death due to an underlying medical condition. (authority)
- Commute the sentences of anyone over the age of 60 with less than five years remaining to time served. Commute the sentences of all others over 60 to the judicially imposed term with the possibility of expedited parole in order to make these prisoners eligible for release after an expedited review by the Prisoner Review Board. (authority)
- Encourage IDOC and the Prisoner Review Board to expedite credit restoration, implementation of discretionary release programs, and every other step necessary to bring IDOC’s population back to capacity. (authority)
We are also asking IDOC to:
- Immediately release elderly people with less than 12 months to serve and people serving Class 2-4 felonies who are vulnerable to serious illness or death due to an underlying medical condition. (authority)
- Fast-track all requests for earned time credits made by inmates over the age of 60, all inmates who are due to be released within the next 24 months, and all at higher risk due to underlying medical conditions. (authority)
- Provide a two-month supply of hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, alcohol-based disinfectants, gloves, and face masks to every correctional institution throughout the state.
- Provide all inmates with a personal supply of soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Provide all inmates with increased provisions of liquids, including juices and soups, as part of state-provided meals, as well as increased access to commissary.
- Ensure inmates who become sick are treated according to medical standards and with dignity. While individuals who become sick will need to be isolated, they must be well cared for.
Finally, we are asking State’s Attorneys to:
- Resolve all pending cases for people over the age of 60 or who are medically vulnerable. If a sentence is necessary, recommend supervision, deferred prosecution, or time served.
- Resentence all people who are over 60 who have less than 5 years on their sentence to time served with supervision. (authority)
Read more detailed recommendations and find more information here.