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UPLC advocates for prisoners, tenants, and disabled people denied public benefits.

In the News

Brian Willis grew up in Park Manor, near 69th Street and King Drive on the South Side. He’s been incarcerated for 25 years and is currently serving a life sentence for murder at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Ill.

Five years after a class action lawsuit found Illinois’ mental health care for inmates in the Department of Corrections unconstitutional, an independent court monitor found that the same problems still exist.

These include an inappropriate use of solitary confinement, failing to properly manage medication, failing to provide adequate treatment plans and extended “crisis watches.”

Christopher Knox already had a long history of living with mental illness when he was sentenced to time in an Illinois prison. He has had a litany of diagnoses, including bipolar disorder and PTSD, and a history of self-harm going back to when he was just 7 years old. When he was locked inside prison at age 19, his mental health deteriorated. He lashed out at a fellow prisoner and he said he was sent to solitary where he was in a cell 23 hours a day, seven days a week.

Recently, Governor Pritzker announced that all staff working in Illinois prisons will have to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by mid-October. Sadly, rather than engaging with the governor, AFSCME, the guards' union, immediately announced that it was opposed to any requirement that staff be vaccinated. The union instead proposed that it will continue to educate staff, in the hope that more staff will agree to vaccinate voluntarily.

The undersigned organizations fully support the governor's mandate regarding vaccinations for prison staff...

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