Our Urgent Mission for Our Medically Vulnerable Clients
It’s all hands on deck at the Illinois Innocence Project. From our remote offices, we are tirelessly advocating for the release of a number of our medically vulnerable clients who are in grave danger as the coronavirus begins its assault inside Illinois prisons.
We represent demonstrably innocent people. Having been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit, our clients are now trapped in crowded prisons and fear for their lives. The Illinois Department of Corrections reports 150 incarcerated individuals and 142 staff have tested positive for COVID-19, as of the end of April. Two incarcerated individuals have died and far more are expected.
The threat of this pandemic has heightened the urgency of our work. We are communicating round-the-clock with dozens of frightened family members, and attorneys, Illinois prisoner advocate groups and prison officials as we attempt to monitor the health status of our clients and request proper care for those who have particular health concerns.
Over the past few weeks, we have asked Governor JB Pritzker to grant the emergency release of some of our medically vulnerable clients for whom there is compelling evidence of their actual innocence. We commend Gov. Pritzker and his staff for the positive actions they have taken to help flatten the curve throughout the State and for their tireless work considering countless requests on behalf of Illinois prisoners.
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The Illinois Innocence Project provides legal services at no cost to the wrongfully convicted. On average, it takes 8-10 years and over $300,000 to free one innocent person from prison. It also requires a skilled team of litigators and investigators supported by UIS students, volunteers and staff.
Your financial support matters. Your donations directly impact our ability to correct miscarriages of justice, educate the public about wrongful convictions and reform our state’s criminal justice system. Please consider making a donation today to support our work.