A federal judge gave final approval this morning to a settlement agreement between the state of Illinois and attorneys representing 28 thousand people on parole in Illinois.
The agreement means the end of a years-long class action lawsuit claiming that by sending parolees back to prison without providing them attorneys or really any chance to defend themselves, the state is violating their due process rights.
Sheila Bedi represents the parolees.
BEDI: The settlement will bring relief to tens of thousands of parolees who’ve been going through a process and having their rights violated every single day.
The multi-part agreement requires the state to present evidence to an impartial hearing officer if they want to revoke someone’s parole and send them back to prison.
The state also has to provide attorneys for those parolees and pay for an independent monitor to make sure they’re actually doing those things.
Illinois now has nine months to get its parole review system in compliance with federal law.