CCBF Pays Bail for Michael

On March 22, the Chicago Community Bond Fund posted $7,500 in bond for Michael, enabling him to reunite with his two-year-old child at home in Minnesota. Michael’s family contributed $2,500 of the money posted to free him, and CCBF provided the remainder. Michael was locked up for a month in Cook County Jail because he couldn’t afford his entire bond.

Michael was arrested while he was visiting Chicago to attend the funeral of a family member. On his way back to Minnesota, he was pulled over by police, who claim they found guns in his possession. Michael has never been convicted of–or even charged with–a felony before.

A judge initially set Michael’s bond at $250,000, meaning he would have to pay $25,000 (ten percent) to get out of jail. Unable to afford this amount, he was incarcerated in Cook County Jail, causing incredible hardship for his household, which includes his 2-year-old, his girlfriend, and her 6-year old child. The family depends on Michael’s income and health insurance from working nights at a factory, as well as on his childcare and driving, to ensure the children’s needs are met. “I have never been away from my two-year-old for longer than a few hours,” Michael said. “My absence was felt by her. There was a lot of stress on the household.”

Michael was forced to use up his paid time off so that he wouldn’t lose his job while he was locked up, but he was still passed up for a promotion because of his incarceration. Eventually, Michael’s attorney was able to get his bond reduced to $75,000, enabling CCBF and his family to get him out before he lost his employment.

Michael’s incarceration and ongoing case continue to take a toll. “I have no vacation time left, I can’t come in late, there is no wiggle room,” he said. “I am barely holding on to my job.”

“It was you guys, complete total strangers, who came to my rescue,” Michael said last week. Your contributions made it possible for us to help Michael’s family post his bond. Thank you.

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