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.