CCBF Participates in County Board Hearing on Money Bail
Yesterday, CCBF members and people we posted bond for played a central role in the Cook County Board’s Ending Cash Bail at Cook County Jail hearing. CCBF helped organize a panel of people who spent time in Cook County jail or on house arrest because they could not pay their monetary bonds. They testified about the impact of pretrial detention and the damage it caused to themselves and their families. Tyler and Lavette, who CCBF posted bond for, shared their stories:
Tyler described the 7 months he spent on electronic monitoring (EM) because he could not post $2,500. As a result of being on house arrest, Tyler lost both of his jobs. Other than to go to court, he was only able to leave the house once during the entirety of those 7 months. He could not get permission to go on job interviews, apply for unemployment, buy groceries, or attend church. Despite seeking permission from Cook County Sheriff, who operates the electronic monitoring program, Tyler’s requests for movement were consistently denied.
Lavette described the 14 months she spent in Cook County Jail because her family could not post her $25,000 bond. Despite the fact Lavette had never been arrested before, had health needs, and was the primary caregiver to her two children, she was still incarcerated while presumed innocent. As a result of her confinement, Lavette lost her business and her housing.
CCBF members and volunteers Max and Sharlyn also testified about the importance of working to end monetary bond without increasing pretrial monitoring or reporting requirements like electronic monitoring and curfews, which also substantially disrupt people’s ability to survive and thrive while they fight their cases.
You can watch the panel featuring Gloria, Tyler, Lavette, and Sharlyn at this link! The panel starts at the 1:35:00 mark, and you can watch all 3.5 hours of the hearing at this link if you’re so inclined!