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Easier to Get Out of Cook County Jail

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It should start getting a little easier to get out of cook county jail starting Monday.

For years, bond hearings in cook county have often been less than 30 seconds. Not exactly enough time for the judge to figure out if someone is a threat to the community, so the judges have traditionally just given high bonds. That resulted in a de facto policy of poor people getting stuck in jail waiting for trial because they couldn’t afford the bond. Timothy Evans, the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County says, starting Monday, he’s going to have staff collect information on arrestees like stability of residence, employment, criminal history, and all that will go to the judges.

EVANS: With the added information, the court will feel more secure in providing a bond where a person is released without having to post any particular financial amount or a lower bond that might be reachable.

So poor people won’t be unnecessarily stuck in the the jail which is chronically overcrowded anyway. Civil rights attorneys have long sought such a common sense solution.

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