On the Topic of Cash Bail The Following Letter was submitted by LWVCC as a Letter to the Editor - Chicago Tribune on March 7, 2017
Dear Editor, Thank you for your editorial, “Foxx’s Political Risk” (3/6/16) that outlined the rationale for releasing detainees before trial if they are charged with nonviolent offenses and cannot afford even the smallest amount of bail. The Leage of Women Voters of Cook County’s Criminal Justice Interest Group has advocated this position. After 18 months of research that included numersous visits to Central and Suburban Bond Courts, interviews with all key stakeholders in the Criminal Justice System of Cook County, professors of Criminal Justice and major politicians at the county and state levels, we issued a report that listed the elimination of cash bail as our first recommendation. We are pleased that public officials are putting this policy into effect. We are also pleased that the new State’s Attorney will be diverting detainees with drug and/or mental health issues, as you ediitorial pointed out, to treatment programs. This was also one of our recommendations. We would like to point out that Kim Foxx is not the only pubic official taking action on this issue. Sheriff Dart has long pushed for the elimination of cash bail. Commissioner Garcia held a hearing last November which included testimony from experts in jurisdictions around the nation that have moved to eliminate cash bail. At the state level, Representative Mitchell has introduced a bill for this purpose.. Bond Court Judges in Cook County have a new tool to help them determine a defendant's flight risk and the risk for reoffending (while awaiting trial ) called the public Safety Assessment Tool. This should improve the consistency among bond court judges. Equal justice in our courts should always be our guidiing principal.
Sincerely, Karin Hribar, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Cook County Co-Chair of the League of Women Voters of Cook County’s Criminal Justice Interest Group Diane Edmundson, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Cook County
LWVCC has been advocating for some changes to improve the workings of County Board meetings - and gets some results.
From The Daily Line - Online detailed reporting from a political perspective
Cook County Committee Preview: Consent Calendar Changes By A.D. Quig - January 17, 2017 "Cook County’s consent calendar changes kick in today. Instead of considering honorary resolutions marking deaths, anniversaries, or congratulations before the regular Wednesday board meetings, they will be the first order of business on Forest Preserve Board meeting days–normally the Tuesday before full Board meetings."
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF COOK COUNTY 332 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 634 Chicago, IL 60604