Fred Waller, Chicago’s temporary top cop, blames “miscommunication” for error, says issue has been remedied.
The investigative reporters on WBEZ’s criminal justice desk tell the stories of the thousands of individuals churning through the legal systems every year in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois and hold to account the powerful officials in charge of those systems. Covering policing, jails and prisons, gun violence and solutions to it, WBEZ’s Criminal Justice team works to bring understanding to some of the most difficult problems facing our region.
Despite a frenzied morning of last-minute preparations, the hearings at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse were not substantially different from the old cash bail system.
Illinois is the first state in the U.S. to abolish cash bail. The historic change took effect on Monday, prompting confusion and long days.
It’s been two years since the Pretrial Fairness Act was passed, but questions remain on who will be jailed and who will not.
“Things aren’t going to be too different for us,” said Cook County Judge Mary Marubio. “It’s just that money will no longer be a condition of release.”
La Tanya Jenifor-Sublett was released from prison a decade ago. Despite having years to prepare, her transition back was not easy.
The broadcast event airs Sunday Sept. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. on WBEZ, Vocalo and Illinois Public Radio stations around the state.
Judges will be limited in who they can hold in jail pretrial. Rural leaders say they don’t have the staffing to handle the change.
The law, effective Monday, makes Illinois the first state to ban money bonds. Some supporters of the change worry that judges will turn to EM.
Neighborhoods on Chicago’s West and Northwest sides have experienced the biggest increases. Citywide numbers are still lower than 10 years ago.