Nationwide: COVID-19 & Jails

We are in the midst of a public health emergency, and the 2.3 million human beings trapped in prisons and jails on any given day in the United States are most vulnerable.

Under normal conditions, jails are dangerous and unhealthy places. Overcrowding, unclean spaces, and inadequate access to healthcare make infectious disease spread like wildfire. It's no surprise then, that during this global pandemic we're seeing COVID-19 spread viciously through jails. Detained people with little to no protection from the virus fear they are just waiting on the inevitable.

Civil Rights Corps, in partnership with a host of other organizations across the country, has filed emergency lawsuits nationwide. The list of cities grows weekly. Releasing people, especially those at the highest risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19, is the fastest way to prevent more suffering. Sadly, in Chicago, in the Cook County Jail, seven human beings have now died from COVID-19. That's just one instance of many. We know that with each passing day, the risk of even more illness and death grows. At a minimum, jails & prisons must take immediate steps to protect incarcerated people from the virus, by providing access to soap and basic hygiene, creating and maintaining social distancing, and adequately monitoring those with symptoms.

On this page you'll find filings, orders, and media coverage from these cases. To see our COVID-19 policy materials, please click here