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Inmates in Illinois Released to Combat COVID-19


From nursing homes to police departments, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected all types of institutions in our society. One of those institutions that have been hit the hardest is the jail/prison system.  

Many prisoners and correctional staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus in Illinois. Although jails and prisons have taken measures to prevent the spread by improving cleanliness and the amount of space between inmates, the Illinois Department of Corrections has been reviewing the files of inmates for early release. 

Since April 16, 2020, over 1,000 prisoners have been released in the state. The released inmates were either low-level offenders, those who are at the end of their sentence, or female inmates who are pregnant. 

According to Governor J.B. Pritzker, all of these individuals have been vetted to ensure they do not have a violent history, which includes domestic violence convictions. In addition, all visitations from loved ones and inmate transfers have been suspended, except for essential transfers. 

However, older prisoners and inmates with underlying health conditions remain behind bars. These individuals are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, which can result in severe illness or death. 

Illinois is one of few states in the country which doesn’t have laws regarding “compassionate release” or “medical parole.” The only way senior and terminally ill inmates can obtain an early release is by executive clemency.  

Prior to the outbreak, there were two bills introduced in the state legislature at the beginning of 2020. One bill would permit medically incapacitated and terminally ill inmates to seek parole, while the other would allow inmates who are at least 60 years old and incarcerated for at least 20 years, or younger inmates who spent at least 30 years in prison, seek parole. 

If you have a loved one who is currently imprisoned during the COVID-19 pandemic, let the Law Office of Steven Fine help him/her obtain early release or home confinement for the remainder of their sentence. We are committed to protecting you and your loved one’s health and safety during this scary and uncertain time. 

For more information about our firm, contact us today at (312) 436-0638 and schedule a free consultation.