CHICAGO (AP) – Civil rights attorneys launched a coordinated legal challenge Thursday demanding the swift release of Illinois prisoners most vulnerable to the coronavirus and accusing Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other state leaders of putting the general public at risk.
The effort includes a proposed class-action lawsuit filed Thursday morning in federal court, naming Pritzker and Rob Jeffreys, director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, as defendants. Ten IDOC prisoners are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
“To effectively prevent the continued spread of the COVID-19 infection in prison communities, the state must take urgent steps to release, furlough, or transfer to home detention all that qualify under the law, and particularly those who are elderly and medically vulnerable,” the lawsuit states.
It adds: “Class members who are elderly and medically vulnerable, and those with pathways to release, must be released now.”