The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Coronavirus in Cook County Jail

Mar 30, 2020

As of Friday, March 27th, 38 inmates and staff at the Cook County Jail are confirmed to have the Covid-19 virus. Only two of those who have been tested had gotten negative results. The deadly virus could be sweeping through this confined population.

Cook County houses 5,500 people—none of whom has been convicted of a serious crime. Many serve short sentences for minor crimes. Others languish there while waiting for trial because they cannot afford bond.

Two weeks ago, the Office of the Public Defender called for the release of as many people as possible. The sheriff even verbally agreed. But only a hundred have been released, because a judge ruled that every case must be heard individually.

This is what “justice” looks like in Cook County, where money can determine if you live or die.