IDHS Summoned to Sangamon Co. Court For Contempt Over Inmate Transfers

By Benjamin Cox on September 2, 2022 at 3:09pm

The Illinois Department of Human Services may be summoned to Sangamon County Court again for a contempt citation.

WMAY reports that Sangamon County Judge Adam Giganti has set a hearing for September 12th after DHS missed a deadline to transfer a county jail inmate to appropriate psychiatric care. Alonzo D. Billups was found unfit to stand trial on a felony retail theft charge back on June 24th.

Under state law, Billups should have been transferred into a DHS facility within 20 days, he remains in custody at the Sangamon County Jail.

Billups is one of seven Sangamon County Jail inmates who remain in county custody more than 20 days after they were found unfit for trial, according to WMAY.

The State Journal Register reported that DHS was found in contempt of court by Judge Giganti at the end of June after DHS blocked a transfer of an inmate into McFarland Mental Health Facility. Giganti ruled that a pandemic-era executive order issued by Governor J.B. Pritzker giving DHS broad authority to suspend provisions in state law requiring it to provide psychiatric treatment to inmates at their facilities was unconstitutional.

DHS Secretary Grace Hou had been asked to appear in court for the September 12th hearing.