Following a hearing before Cook County Judge Leroy K. Martin earlier today, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx released the following statement regarding the urgent situation at the Cook County Jail and emergency bail hearings to expedite release of detainees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the interest of both public health and safety during the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) has been working around the clock with the Cook County Sheriff and Public Defender to ensure any individuals who are not a threat to public safety are released from Cook County Jail. This weekend alone, prosecutors reviewed more than 1,200 cases. We will continue this process and agree to appropriate releases for the duration of this pandemic, to limit the number of people in our jail and reduce the number of people needlessly coming to court while recognizing there are both public health and safety risks that some detainees may pose. The only way to carry this out responsibly is to address these risks on an individual, case-by-case basis and per the Court’s order this morning, we will do so with increased capacity and continued urgency,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
In light of COVID-19, last week the State’s Attorney’s Office stopped prosecuting low level, non-violent narcotics offenses to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the number of people coming to court. In addition, the Illinois State Police will not be providing chemical testing during the pandemic.