Cook County State's Attorney Backs Bail Reform Measures

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2015, file photo, Kim Foxx, then a candidate for Cook County state's attorney, speaks at a news conference in Chicago. Foxx, the Chicago area's top prosecutor says her office is starting a new effort to target gun crimes in city neighborhoods and revamping a branch of her office that investigates possible wrongful convictions. State's Attorney Foxx said Wednesday, March 15, 2017 that attorneys from her office are teaming up with federal prosecutors in two police districts that have some of the highest violence rates.
Kim Foxx, then a candidate for Cook County state's attorney, speaks at a news conference in Chicago in December 2015. M. Spencer Green / AP Photo
FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2015, file photo, Kim Foxx, then a candidate for Cook County state's attorney, speaks at a news conference in Chicago. Foxx, the Chicago area's top prosecutor says her office is starting a new effort to target gun crimes in city neighborhoods and revamping a branch of her office that investigates possible wrongful convictions. State's Attorney Foxx said Wednesday, March 15, 2017 that attorneys from her office are teaming up with federal prosecutors in two police districts that have some of the highest violence rates.
Kim Foxx, then a candidate for Cook County state's attorney, speaks at a news conference in Chicago in December 2015. M. Spencer Green / AP Photo

Cook County State's Attorney Backs Bail Reform Measures

The Cook County state's attorney's office says its prosecutors will start backing the release of suspects without bond for minor offenses pending resolution of their case.

In a statement Monday, State's Attorney Kim Foxx said detaining people accused of low-level offenses who have not yet been convicted simply because they are poor is unjust.

Under the new policy, judges will still make the final decision about a defendant's bail. However, prosecutors of misdemeanor and low-level felony cases will recommend the defendants be released if they do not have a history of violent crime or pose a risk to public safety.

On Friday, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law specifying cash bail is not necessary for people charged with nonviolent crimes.
The inability to post bond and be released pending trial is one reason for jail overcrowding.