Chicago Community Bond Fund

CCBF logo

Our Mission

The Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF) pays bond for people charged with crimes in Cook County, Illinois. Through a revolving fund, CCBF supports individuals whose communities cannot afford to pay the bonds themselves and who have been impacted by structural violence. Inability to pay bond results in higher rates of conviction, longer sentences, loss of housing and jobs, separation of families, and lost custody of children. By paying bond, CCBF restores the presumption of innocence before trial and enables recipients to remain free while fighting their cases. CCBF also engages in public education about the role of bond in the criminal legal system and advocates for the abolition of money bond. CCBF is committed to long­term relationship building and organizing with people most directly impacted by criminalization and policing.


Harm Reduction in a Prison Nation

The Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF) is a revolving fund that will pay bond for people charged with crimes in Cook County, engage in education about the role of bond in the criminal legal system, and advocate for the abolition of money bond. CCBF supports individuals whose communities who have been impacted by structural violence and whose bonds are completely out of proportion with their ability to pay. We are committed to building long-term relationships and organizing with people most directly impacted by criminalization and policing: people of color, especially Black people, and the poor.

We are an all-volunteer effort, composed of people who believe that access to money should not determine freedom, that pre-trial incarceration is fundamentally unjust, and that Chicagoans can take action now to help alleviate some of the harm caused by government policies while simultaneously working for systemic change.

What Is bond?

Bond is money charged by the state to release a person charged with a crime from custody while their case proceeds. (Bond is also referred to as “bail.”) In Illinois, bonds that require cash payment are called Deposit Bonds or “D-bonds”; people charged with crimes are required to pay 10% of the D-bond amount set by a judge as a “deposit”. For example, if you are given a $1,000 D Bond, you have to pay $100 cash in order to be released from police or county custody.

Bond is essentially unfair and unjust. High bonds are justified by the idea that they keep us safe, but setting monetary bond undermines the very idea that safety should govern release or detention decisions. Someone who is not dangerous should be released regardless of their access to money; likewise, someone who is truly dangerous should not be released simply because they can pay bond. Our current system makes wealth, not safety, the primary determinant of whether someone is released while awaiting trial. Add to this the fact that 70% of pre-trial detainees at Cook County Jail are detained for nonviolent offenses and that Black defendants are generally more likely to be given cash bonds and have bonds set at higher amounts than white defendants, and the merits of money bond become hard to identify.

There is also no proven correlation between payment of bond and someone returning to court. Under Washington D.C.’s much-lauded Pretrial Services Agency, 85% of all defendants are released, no money bond is used, and 88% of all released defendants remain arrest-free and attend all court dates. Fewer than 1% of the people who are re-arrested are alleged to have committed a violent crime. In New York, 96% of the Bronx Freedom Fund’s clients attended every one of their court dates–a rate higher than that of people who paid their own bond!

Why Is Making Bond so Important?

The simple inability to pay bond often has severe negative consequences on the very things that help someone charged with a crime succeed: employment, stable housing, and strong family and community connections. Pre-trial detention can cause loss of housing and/or jobs, separation of families, and lost custody of children. It also results in higher rates of conviction, as people are forced to plead guilty in order to go home rather than fight their charges. With the stakes so high, CCBF hopes to alleviate the harm for as many people as possible by assisting them in paying their bonds, allowing them to remain free while fighting their cases.

Please check out our Resources page to read more about how bond harms individuals, families, and entire communities. Contact us to get involved in the fight to end cash bond in Chicago.


Who We Are

We are a team of experienced organizers and activists from a wide variety of backgrounds, united to end mass incarceration:

Jeanette Wince

Jeanette Wince graduated from National-Louis University with her B.S. Degree in Applied Behavior/Case Management. She served as a committee Representative for the union of Liberia Association in America, Youth Leader for the Agape Training Center, Planning Committee Representative for Liberia Relief Organization, DV Counselor for adults and families at Sara’s Inn, Assistance Director of Cultural Dancing, and mentoring youth for the African Community Cultural Center and Evangelist for House of Hope Ministries. Jeanette founded the Stone of Hope Inc., (SOHI) for the specific purpose of establishing, developing, and implementing a support center to empower individuals to overcome Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence.

Max Suchan

Max is an activist and lawyer committed to working to end mass incarceration and institutional racism. He has spent substantial time fundraising to bond activists and community residents out of jail and match arrestees with attorneys. Max currently works as the Mass Defense Coordinator for the National Lawyers Guild of Chicago.

Maya Schenwar

Maya is the author of Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better, and is Editor-in-Chief of Truthout. She has written about the prison-industrial complex for Truthout, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, Salon, Ms. Magazine, and others. She is a prison abolitionist, and is active with the Chicago-based group Love & Protect.

Holly Krig

Holly is director of organizing with Moms United Against Violence & Incarceration and an active member of the defense org, Love & Protect. She is a former union organizer who now organizes at the intersections of different forms of state violence thorugh mutual aid and direct action, makes a lot of protest art and knows what it's like to be bonded out of jail and received by loving comrades.

Elzora Threets-Lottie

Elzora Threets-Lottie is the mother of Lakendra Lottie, a 19-year-old Chicagoan arrested at the DeSean Pittman vigil protesting his CPD murder. LaKendra spent almost three months in Cook County Jail until the arrestees' family, friends, and solidarity activist successfully fundraised to post her high bond. Elzora remains committed to creating a community bond fund so that fewer Chicago families have to go through the pain of having their loved ones unnecessarily behind bars.

Micah Gates

Micah helps out where he can. He got his start as a founding member of Red Emma's Coffeehouse * Bookstore in Baltimore. Now he helps organizations raise money as a cofounder of the Anarchist Brewing Collective and helps the Chicago Community Bond fund with its technology needs.

Sharlyn Grace

Sharlyn is a lawyer who is passionate about using the law to support progressive social movements. Her interest in racial and economic justice led her to prison abolition, which led her to harm reduction. Sharlyn has previously been a member of We Charge Genocide and Tamms Year Ten, and she is currently an Executive Vice-President of the National Lawyers Guild.

Matt McLoughlin

Matt has organized around a variety of issues including income inequality, immigration, food justice, and prisons. Currently Matt's main focus is providing graphic design, media-making, and social media support for CCBF and other Chicago-based organizations.

Natasha Rodriguez

Natasha is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelors degree in nursing. She is currently working on her masters in Nursing with a focus education. She is committed to social justice and works actively with CCBF.

Gloria Moore Wesley

Gloria is an educator who holds an Associate degree in Addictions Studies and a Bachelors degree in Applied Behaviors. She is also a certified counselor and is DCFS certified by the State of Illinois. Gloria is also a long-time member of the Liberty Full Gospel Temple church on Chicago's South side.

Anna Lusero

Anna Lusero is an attorney dedicated to racial and economic justice. She has spent years working at the intersection of immigration and workers' rights. Anna is a member of The United People Of Color Caucus of the National Lawyers Guild.

Terri Bjarnson

Terri Bjarnson, M.A., C.A.D.C. is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor with twenty-seven years of experience in the substance abuse field. Her past experience has been as a counselor in residential treatment facilities, as well as outpatient treatment. She received her B.A. in Social Work from Concordia University in Irvine, California and a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Chemical Dependency from National University in San Diego, California. She became certified as an addictions counselor from the State of Illinois in 1988. Her training includes a multitude of areas of chemical dependency, including Domestic Violence.

Ash Stephens

Ash is a CCBF supporter, activist, and PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying criminology. He is a prison abolitionist and member of with the Chicago-based group [Love & Protect]( Ash also enjoys playing and watching sports, reading books and comics, and planning out his next world-travels.
Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board

We are proud to have the help of a number of great community leaders in our work, including:


CCBF strives to eliminate the use of monetary bond in Cook County entirely, but we are currently unable to assist everyone who needs help paying bond. CCBF will use a variety of factors to determine whether to pay bond for someone who applies for our assistance.

CCBF will use the following interactive factors to evaluate whether we will assist someone who applies for our help paying bond:

  1. Inability to pay bond required, including lack of access to family or community resources;
  2. Amount of bond to be paid;
  3. Existing support system, such as a family member or case manager who has committed to providing assistance making court dates and/or other forms of support;
  4. Risk of victimization in the jail, including but not limited to: gender identity and expression (namely transgender, gender non-conforming or LGBQI people), people with disabilities, and youth or elder status;
  5. Special health needs such as pregnancy, chronic medical conditions, or ongoing mental health treatment;
  6. Dependents or other family members who may be harmed by applicant’s detention, including risk of custody loss or Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) involvement;
  7. Immigration status and potential immigration consequences of a criminal conviction.
  8. Referral through or connection to established partner organization;
  9. Anticipated impact of detention on applicant’s employment, housing, educational attainment, and/or custodial rights;
  10. Position in relation to structural violence, community disinvestment, systemic racism, survival, and resistance; and
  11. Willingness to assist with raising money to cover any anticipated court costs, fines, or fees that will not be refunded to the bond fund.
Projects & Press

If You Need Help With Bond

June 14, 2016: We are not currently accepting requests for help paying bond. Since December 2015, CCBF has posted more than $160,000 in bond to free 33 people incarcerated in Cook County Jail or on electronic monitoring. During the summer, we will be focusing on fundraising to replenish the revolving bond fund and increasing our organizational capacity. We greatly appreciate your donations. Thank you for your support!

For Other Inquiries

You Can Email Us

Send your questions or comments to

For media inquiries, email us at

You Can Call Us

Leave us a message at 1-844-END-BOND, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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We’ll occationally send out a newsletter to tell you about developments in our organization, fundraisers and other things of interest.

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You can send us mail:

Chicago Community Bond Fund
PO Box 479015
Chicago, IL 60647

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