CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A day after the state announced one Illinois prison inmate had died of COVID-19 and that more inmates and staff had tested positive for the coronavirus, a legal services group is renewing its call for thousands of inmates to be released.

Alan Mills, executive director of the Uptown People’s Law Center, said as many as 13,000 inmates should be released from state prisons, or in the very least, put on home confinement to try to control the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.

“There’s simply not the opportunity to socially distance. It’s totally impossible to try to stay six feet away from somebody when you share a cell that’s 4 ½ by 10 feet with another human being,” Mills said.


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Uptown People’s Law Center has been fighting for prisoners’ rights for 40 years. UPLC currently has five class-action lawsuits to change conditions in IDOC, including health care, mental health care, and solitary confinement.

At UPLC, we are doing our best to stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 developments at IDOC facilities around the state. If you are in contact with a friend, family member, or other loved one who is currently in IDOC custody and believe that your loved one would be comfortable with you sharing their information with us, please take a moment to fill out this survey.

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