Earlier today, U.S. District Court Judge Luis Alonso gave final approval to a consent decree in Lippert v. Baldwin. The decree was part of a settlement reached earlier this year. Two court-appointed experts (reporting four years apart) found serious and profound problems in the health care provided in Illinois’ prisons.

In response to the Judge’s approval, the following statement can be attributed to Camille Bennett, Director of the Corrections Reform Project at the ACLU of Illinois:

Approval today by Judge Alonso of the consent decree means that reform can begin immediately for the 40,000 men and women across Illinois who are put at risk by this inadequate health care system – many of whom have suffered and some of whom have died. The State of Illinois is now bound by a court-enforceable agreement with specific benchmarks and structures for measuring success. A monitor has already been appointed to oversee these reforms. We look forward to improvements and accountability as this system is transformed.