Foxx will no longer make recommendations to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board on parole.
Foxx called the practice a “relic” of the past and said prosecutors are experts on the facts of the crimes but not on inmates’ conduct in prison — ending a decades-long practice by her office of offering opinions on parole requests.
More than 200,000 people are serving life sentences in U.S. prisons today, and most of them are locked in state correctional facilities. The vast majority of lifers are people of color, about 30% are people age 55 and older, and an increasing number are women.
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In December, COVID-19 infections in prisons in the United States hit a record 25,000 in one week. Among correctional staff that month, there were an additional 5,000 new infections a week, leading to spread in surrounding communities.
More than 580,000 people at correctional institutions have been infected. The prisoner death toll has surpassed 2,000. Eleven months into the pandemic, the US prison system has not gotten control of its rising caseload, which is likely still underestimated.
One way to distinguish solitary confinement from COVID-19 quarantine is to give isolated people access to materials that help pass the time and keep them connected to others.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a number of sweeping criminal justice and police reforms into law, which includes eliminating cash bail for pretrial detainees.
Under the Pretrial Fairness Act, which was spearheaded by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, a judge can still detain an individual if they’re charged with felonies such as murder or domestic battery.
Those who aren’t deemed a threat to the community won’t be required to obtain cash to be released from jail prior to trial.
About 203,000 Americans are currently set to die behind bars. In 1970, there were less than 200,000 people in America’s entire prison system.
A million families live this way: Sending money they can’t afford. Making court dates they don’t have time for. Driving five hours only to be turned away, because the facility is on lockdown or because someone’s dress isn’t long enough.
It’s the way the guard talks to you when you visit, and how you’re herded single file through dingy corridors to pay too much for microwave concessions. It’s watching your loved ones demolish that food and how they’re marched away when the visit ends.
It’s feeling alone, though everyone you know has experienced this.
One in two Americans have lived some version of this story, because half of all U.S. residents and a full two thirds of all Black people have a loved one who has done time. However, it’s not just the family members who are frustrated.
It’s especially hard for people in prison.