Hundreds of Illinois prisoners released as COVID-19 spreads, but few elderly see reprieve

The Illinois Department of Corrections has begun utilizing a once controversial tool to release hundreds of inmates using sentencing credits. But the releases have not been uniform across the state.

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Judge blocks key legal protection for detained youth

Presiding Judge Michael Toomin has said youth detention reviews cannot be filed if they mention a law that juveniles cannot be held more than 30 days pre-trial. Chief Judge Timothy Evans is clarifying his order to say they can.

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COVID-19 brings new challenges for Muslim inmates during Ramadan

Restrictions related to the COVID-19 outbreak have made observing Ramadan more difficult for Muslims in prisons and jails.

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Challenges arise as the courtroom goes virtual

Courtroom benches

In response to the coronavirus, the Cook County Circuit Court has moved most hearings online. The shift has meant technical difficulties and challenges for public access, especially in felony bond court.

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Former U. Chicago student, shot by police, has COVID-19 symptoms in Cook County jail

Charles Thomas has been denied bond twice since mid-March, even as judges and prosecutors have said publicly that they are doing everything they can to release people from the jail.

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Prisoner Review Board delays parole rehearing for two elderly inmates as COVID-19 spreads behind bars

After parole rehearings are requested for two men one vote short of winning parole, advocates fear relief may come too late.

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Elderly inmates are at high risk for coronavirus. Why are there so many of them in Illinois’s prisons?

Elderly and Ill IDOC inmates

Older inmates have mostly been left behind by criminal justice reforms. Now, after one inmate has already died from COVID-19, more than two thousand of them are at serious risk.

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