Life in Prison for a Killing He Didn’t Cause or Condone
In Illinois alone, around 500 people are currently serving first-degree felony murder sentences for killings they did not commit themselves or intend to commit. Reform efforts must consider past injustices as well as future abuses.
Illinois Prison Healthcare Still Abysmal, Getting Worse in Some Areas, Monitor’s Report Finds
Four years after a settlement agreement that was meant to compel improvements, the Illinois Department of Corrections is still failing to provide adequate care for the state's oldest and sickest prisoners.
Report Details ‘Cruel’ and ‘Unconscionable’ Treatment of Patients in Illinois Prisons
A federal monitor says substandard healthcare persists—with horrific consequences—more than a decade after a lawsuit was supposed to compel changes.
Illinois Prison Water Contamination Keeps Getting Worse
Water at 12 state prisons has tested positive for the bacteria this year.
Illinois Advocates Call for Action After Prison Officials Mislead on Contaminated Water
Legionella bacteria was found in five Illinois prisons in March.
Illinois State Lawmakers Vote To Eliminate Cash Bail
The move is part of a broader criminal justice reform bill that also ends prison gerrymandering, and mandates body cameras for all police departments.
Cities Are Pressuring Landlords to Evict People Under ‘Crime-Free’ Housing Laws
In Granite City, Illinois, landlords have been penalized for refusing to evict tenants who have criminal records or are simply living with someone who does.
Report Finds Bail Reform in Chicago Reduced Pretrial Incarceration Without Hurting Public Safety
A growing body of evidence suggests that it’s possible to reduce or even eliminate the use of money bail without increasing crime.
Marie Newman Wins Illinois House Seat, Pledging To Fight For Working Families And The Middle Class
“This economy doesn’t work for everyone; it works for very, very few people,” Newman said.
For Illinois Democrat Marie Newman, Progressive Is ‘Practical’
Newman, who is running for a U.S. House seat, wants Medicare for all, green jobs, and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Reform Advocates Want To Oust Illinois Judge Who Fought To Detain Young Children
A coalition of organizations is hoping Michael Toomin, who is also unwilling to implement diversion programs, loses his retention election.
Federal Judges Were Once All Reliably Bad On Prisoners’ Rights Issues. COVID-19 Changed That.
President Trump has appointed a quarter of active federal appellate judges, and they have decisively hampered legal efforts to force prisons and jails to address the coronavirus.
In a Small Illinois City, A Black Man Died After Officers Shoved A Baton In His Mouth. Black Officers Say They’ve Suffered At The Hands Of The Department, Too.
Lawsuits from Joliet Police Department officers are among at least 12 current federal complaints against the agency. The men say their civil rights lawsuits are part of a decades-long history of discrimination.
Federal Bureau of Prisons Locks Down Prisoners and Takes Away Communications Amid Protests
After protests broke out in several cities in response to George Floyd’s death, the agency ordered the first nationwide lockdown in 25 years.
Lack Of Access To Clean Water Is Putting Homeless People At Risk Even As Cities Reopen Amid COVID-19
Health officials say hand washing is key to avoiding the novel coronavirus, but millions of homeless people continue to have little or no access to hygiene stations.
The Pandemic Had Prisoners’ Nerves On Edge. Then The Power Started Going Out.
For weeks, two houses in Illinois’ Vienna Correctional Center ran on generator power and had intermittent failures, multiple prisoners told The Appeal. The outages made it harder to use the shared bathroom, one of the few places they could wash their hands.
As infections and deaths mount, state leaders and law enforcement are turning to tough-on-crime tactics in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Admissions to Illinois State Prisons Suspended, With Few Exceptions, Due to Coronavirus
Prisoners are “especially vulnerable to contracting and spreading COVID-19,” Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker wrote in his executive order.
Kim Foxx Aims To Rewrite An ‘Inequitable’ Legal Justice System As Challengers Fight To Topple Her
With one term under her belt as Chicago's top prosecutor, Foxx says she has more work to do to right a system that has been "unfair, and totally unjust."
Illinois Man Alleges Police Illegally Forced Him To Undergo A Strip Search, Rectal Exam
According to a complaint, police in Oak Lawn, a suburb of Chicago, subjected Tylus Allen Jr. to invasive searches, all of which turned up nothing.
Why Prisoners Get The Doctors No One Else Wants
Even after a major class action suit required Illinois to revamp its prison healthcare system, doctors whose alleged neglect resulted in major injury or death still remain on the prison system payroll.
Illinois Department of Corrections Revises Book Ban Policy
Earlier this year, Danville prison removed about 200 books, many of which dealt with race issues. But the new rules don’t go far enough, says one advocate.
Illinois Loosened Ankle-Monitor Restrictions, But Advocates Say It’s Too Soon To Celebrate
A Prisoner Review Board memo released in July requires a minimum of 12 hours of movement with ankle monitors, but some people say they’re still being given far less.
How a Tool to Help Judges May Be Leading Them Astray
In Cook County, Illinois, 99 percent of defendants deemed ‘high risk’ for pretrial violence don’t reoffend.
In Chicago, Rethinking the Link Between Crime and Incarceration
A new report shows that a progressive approach, like the one advanced by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, can help decrease jail populations—and crime.
Chicago is Tracking Kids With GPS Monitors That Can Call and Record Them Without Consent
Cook County has a new contract for juvenile ankle monitors that critics say are an invasion of privacy.
As States Look To Cut Jail Populations, Electronic ‘Miniature Prisons’ Are On the Rise
There are more than 2,700 people on electronic monitoring in Cook County, Illinois, alone.
Communicating While Queer Is Being Punished in Prison
A lawsuit accuses Illinois of cutting off LGBTQ prisoners’ lifeline to supporters.
One Year After Cook County’s Bail Reform, Court Watchers Say Things Are Getting Worse
Judges are still setting bail at unaffordable levels, and more people are being held without bond.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Won’t Seek A Third Term. These Movements Are A Big Reason.
Protesters blasting everything from punitive prosecutors to police brutality should be remembered for their role in upsetting the Windy City's political status quo.