Resource: Mays v. Dart

By: Alexa Van Brunt, Easha Anand, Megha Ram

September 29, 2023

In early 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared Illinois to be in a state of disaster and imposed a statewide shelter-in-place order, making social distancing mandatory, closing public schools and nonessential businesses, and banning groups of more than 10 people. Yet, none of the critical measures for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 were available for those confined in Cook County Jail, where thousands of incarcerated people and jail staff are in close confines with one another. Justice Center (MJC), alongside the Chicago Community Bond Fund, Loevy & Loevy, and Civil Rights Corps, filed a lawsuit against Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart that challenged the lack of access to basic hygiene at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing incarcerated people and jail staff from mitigating the spread of the virus.