Court Support: Lawsuit to End Money Bond

Take action now and sign this petition supporting bond reform in Cook County: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/support-bond-reform-in-cook-county!

The Coalition to End Money Bond is calling all supporters to join us for an important court date in the lawsuit challenging the use of money bond in Cook County. On Friday, June 29th, the judge hearing the case may decide whether or not to dismiss the case or allow it to proceed.

In October 2016, two men incarcerated because they could not pay their money bonds filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Cook County’s practice of jailing thousands of people simply because they lacked access to money. They are represented by Civil Rights Corps, MacArthur Justice Center, and Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym. Similar lawsuits filed around the country have been highly successful.

Pressure from this lawsuit and community organizing led the Circuit Court of Cook County to adopt General Order 18.8A in September 2017, which says that no one should be incarcerated pretrial solely because they cannot pay bond and requires judges to set bonds in amounts people can afford to pay. As a direct result of this order, there are now 1,400 fewer people in Cook County Jail on any given day.

The judges being sued have asked the court to dismiss the case because the problem has been solved by the Order, but we know that there are still 2,500 people in Cook County Jail today for the sole reason that they cannot afford to pay their bonds. In addition, judges continue to defy the order, including setting more than 500 bonds in amounts that people cannot afford to pay in the first three months of 2018. The problem isn’t solved, and the case must go on!

We urge you to join us in calling for a binding court decision declaring that the current system of wealth-based pretrial incarceration is unconstitutional, which will help the Coalition secure statewide reforms and protect the progress made in Cook County. We demand permanent, statewide bail reform that eliminates the use of money bond and significantly reduces the number of people incarcerated pretrial! #EndMoneyBail

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