(Chicago, IL) — Under a new proposal by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the county could save on jail expenses by lowering the bail amounts for low-level, nonviolent defendants who are too poor to post bond. Instead of incarcerating these pretrial detainees at $143 per person per day, the county could place them on electronic monitoring, thus maintaining public safety while saving taxpayer dollars.
The jail is currently crowded with 9,400 men and women. About 900 current pre-trial detainees charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses would qualify for the reduced bail under President Preckwinkle’s proposal.
Pamela Rodriguez, president of TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities), and Diane Williams, president of the Safer Foundation, championed the proposed changes to the bond process in a letter to the editor published by the Chicago Tribune on July 17.