One month ago, Restore Justice joined advocacy partners in sounding the alarm about the devastating effect COVID-19 could have in Illinois’s prisons.
Nearly 20 percent of our prison population is elderly, and many more incarcerated people are medically vulnerable. They are kept in overcrowded facilities that are not equipped to handle a pandemic.
In about two weeks, the number of confirmed cases among prisoners and staff at Stateville Correctional Center went from one to 131. Currently, 182 Stateville prisoners and staff have tested positive.
We know COVID-19 is in many other prisons throughout the State of Illinois, and we know that the numbers—and the tragedies behind those numbers—will increase as tests become more available in prisons.
With this knowledge, and with a belief that we can engender support and enact change, we are fighting for more people to be released and for better conditions inside facilities.
You’ve made this fight possible. You made phone calls, sent emails, signed petitions, shared our demands on social media, and put pressure on elected officials. We are tremendously grateful for your support and partnership during these scary and trying times.
Our mission continues. Here’s how you can keep working to protect those who are incarcerated.