1,000 signatures reached
To: Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly Foxx
Demand that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx Decarcerate to Respond to COVID-19
We are calling on the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to take additional steps to dramatically lower the number of people in jail in response to COVID-19. Specifically, the office should:
1. Decline to file new charges in cases that do not involve danger to a specific person;
2. Agree to release most people seeking bond reviews from custody without payment of money;
3. Immediately dismiss all pending misdemeanors and class 4 felony cases not involving danger to a specific person, starting with cases in which people are in jail; and
4. Cease filing violations of probation and violations of bail bonds for technical violations or reasons not involving danger to a specific person.
Why is this important?
As of April 14, 2020, more than 300 people incarcerated in CCJ have tested positive for COVID-19 and 3 people have lost their lives. The rate of infection has climbed as high as 62 out of every 1,000 people incarcerated in the jail, and there are no doubt many more people who have COVID-19 but who have not been tested. Cook County Jail has been identified by the New York Times as the “top hot spot” in the nation’s pandemic.
People incarcerated in jail are one of the populations most vulnerable to coronavirus and COVID-19, and their protection warrants special emergency action. Jails and prisons are known to quickly spread contagious diseases. Incarcerated people have an inherently limited ability to fight the spread of infectious disease since they are confined in close quarters and unable to avoid contact with people who may have been exposed.
Cook County Jail is a death trap, and leaving people incarcerated there during this pandemic will result in the needless illness, suffering, and deaths of people in the jail’s custody, staff working inside the jail, and others in the community as our shared health care system becomes overwhelmed.
As a candidate who campaigned on a progressive platform, it is State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx’s responsibility to take bold action now. If State’s Attorney Foxx continues the present course, more people will inevitably and unnecessarily lose their lives.