Public Defender Says Virus Risk 'Dire' At Cook County Jail

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Photo credit Cook County Jail

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Cook County Public Defender says she’ll continue her efforts to help detainees at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus at the county jail.

Federal Judge Matthew Kennelly ruled this week that Sheriff Tom Dart must put new policies in place to better protect inmates at the jail, which has become a “hot spot.” Hundreds of detainees and jail staff have tested positive for the virus.

Public Defender Amy Campanelli says she has petitioned for more releases and gotten 700 defendants out. But it’s not enough.

She says "social distancing" is not feasible in conditions where inmates shower together, sleep in bunk beds and interact in big common rooms. 

"It is dire right now," Campanelli tells WBBM Newsradio's Craig Dellimore.

Campanelli is the guest on “At Issue,” which airs 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday.