CAN YOUR LOVED ONE BE RELEASED FROM COOK COUNTY JAIL DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS?
As of March 28, 2020, 89 inmates in the Cook County Jail have COVID-19and 12 staff members tested positive. With each passing day that number will likely rise. If you have a loved one in the Cook County Jail, you’ve got concerns about their health and safety. Is there anything that can be done to get them released in the face of threat of this unprecedented health crisis?
Cook County courthouses are holding expedited bond hearings in an effort to get people out of jail, which could become a coronavirus disaster akin to cruise ships. Whether or not your loved one can obtain a lower bond due to COVID-19 depends on certain factors of eligibility.
ELIGIBILITY FOR EXPEDIATED BOND HEARINGS
On March 23, 2020, the Chief Judge of Cook County, Timothy Evans, issued an order outlining the eligibility for coronavirus bail review hearings. Whether or not your loved one is eligible will depends generally on the type of offense they are confined for as well as specific personal factors applicable to your loved one. Those eligible for COVID-19 bail hearings are:
1. Any inmate with an “elevated risk of contracting COVID-19”-specifically
a. because of their age OR
b. Because of any underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or hypertension
2. Any pregnant inmate
3. Any inmate detained on:
a. Misdemeanor charges
b. Non-Violent OR probation-eligible felonies
i. *particularly non violent class 3 & 4 felonies
4. Any inmate who remains in jail because they are unable to pay low monetary bond
5. Any inmate recently arrested on a warrant or alleged parole violation & warrant/parole violation is not a crime of violence.
6. Any inmate serving a sentence in the Cook County Jail.
7. Any inmates who are eligible for electronic monitoring but remain in jail because they have no address/”no place to stay.”
IF THEY’RE ELIGIBLE, HOW DO YOU GET A LOVED ONE RELEASED?
Call an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense attorney will know how to properly notify the State of your loved one’s case and get the case on the expedited bond hearing schedule. A criminal defense lawyer will then be able to present any medical proof or other proof at this hearing to show your loved one is at an elevated risk for COVID-19. If any of the factors could apply to your loved one, they need legal representation ASAP.
Even if you don’t think your loved one is eligible under the above guidelines, call a criminal defense attorney to make sure. The guidelines for COVID-19 bail review hearings are actually quite broad. While there is a preference for low level, non-violent felonies and misdemeanors, no type of offense appears technically ineligible if the inmate has an elevated risk for COVID-19.
If your loved one is in the Cook County Jail, you’re scared for their health and safety, as you should be. At Robert Callahan & Associates, we’re here to help. We can determine if your loved one is eligible for a COVID-19 release and if so, make sure he or she gets the opportunity for an expedited coronavirus bail review hearing. Call us now at 312-322-9000.
RELEASED FROM COOK COUNTY JAIL DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS