Downstate Sheriffs Sue DHS, Governor Over Prisoner Transfers To Mental Health Facilities

By Benjamin Cox on July 22, 2022 at 3:40pm

Five County Sheriffs have joined Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell in ongoing litigation over delays in transferring county jail inmates to suitable mental health treatment.

Campbell filed the suit against the Illinois Department of Human Services, DHS Director Grace Hou, and Governor J.B. Pritzker seeking a temporary restraining order in Sangamon County Court on July 7th over mentally ill county jail inmates not being transferred into DHS custody in a timely manner.

An amended complaint was field yesterday adding Knox, Madison, Rock Island, Macon, and McLean to the list of complainants in the case. A hearing on the TRO and motions in the case will be held on August 1st in Sangamon County Court.

A request for comment from Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright was denied because of an inability to comment on current county litigation. Wright says that Sheriff Jack Campbell is also unable to comment publicly at this time.

According to WMAY, for the third time in a week, DHS has been ordered to appear in a Sangamon County courtroom and show cause why it should not be held in contempt of court over the transfer delays. The latest order handed down on Wednesday involves an inmate in Sangamon County who was found mentally unfit to stand trial back in May and has been awaiting a transfer to the McFarland Mental Health Center ever since.

Two contempt hearings are set for late next week, with the third scheduled for August 1st, unless the inmates are transferred before then.