Live Free group seeks improved conditions, transparency at Cook County Jail

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Live Free group wants to improve conditions at Cook County Jail.

The group, who will gather at 27th and California, hopes to bring attention to the conditions incarcerated individuals have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: 4 IL federal prisons among nation's 20 most infected with COVID-19

Live Free urged county officials to pass an ordinance establishing an independent monitoring committee to regularly inspect and report on facility conditions.

Cook County Jail curbed an early COVID-19 outbreak according to Sheriff Tom Dart, who said the spike in Illinois was also a jailhouse problem.

The county said that out of 5,600 inmates, they only currently have 10 positive cases.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office released a statement Sunday:

"These activists are either incredibly misinformed or are willfully ignoring the facts. Since the first positive case, the Sheriff's Office has provided daily updates regarding the number of cases at the Jail as well as routine updates, both online and through the media, about the myriad efforts it has made to combat the virus. The Office has also worked with researchers and public health experts to review its efforts, leading the CDC to conclude that the Jail is a national model for how to mitigate COVID, and prompting researchers from Yale and Stanford universities to conclude that these efforts prevented thousands of cases, hundreds of hospitalizations, and dozens more deaths in just the first three months of the outbreak. Furthermore, there has never once been a shortage of PPE, sanitation and disinfectant supplies, or hygiene products for detainees. Currently, of the 5,600 individuals in custody, just 10 are positive for COVID, and all of them were positive when they entered the Jail. As we have said from the beginning, protecting the health and safety of our staff and those ordered into custody is our highest priority."
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.