IDOC & Their Response to COVID-19

The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic is the subject of today’s episode. We feature excerpts from a Facebook Live interview we did with Jobi Cates, Founder and Executive Director of Reform Justice Illinois (RJI).

RJI was originally created to work on issues solely focused on juvenile lifers, or people sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes committed as youth. But when confronted with intersection of many bad policies RJI expended their mission to address a multitude of policy issues related to criminal justice.

IDOC has reputation dating back many years of maintaining horrible data about every aspect of their work. This is why Cates was unable at the time of this recording to provide a reliable number of how many individuals were released from IDOC custody because of the pandemic.

IDOC has taken steps with Gov. Pritzker to speed up some number of releases for inmates that has 30 days or less until they were scheduled to be released. They have also moved to release a limited number of individuals who are over 55 years old and have underlying health conditions that would make the particularly susceptible to the ravage of this virus.

Exactly how many inmates were released due to the virus at this point we can only guess.

Also in this episode we quickly discuss the confirmation of former Dallas Police Chief David Brown as the new Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. In a previous episode we discuss media coverage of the Chicago Police Board’s candidate selection process, the short list of candidates, and Mayor Lightfoot’s selection of Brown.

All of this was covered in the Chicago media while ignoring Brown’s history of manipulating crime statistics in an effort to kill crime in Dallas. This was obviously the first thing that the Chicago media should have uncovered in their work. Just sad that it was never mentioned in Chicago.

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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