State of Bond Reform: A Courtwatching Report Release Party

Last year, the Chief Judge of Cook County issued General Order 18.8A, which instructs judges to stop issuing money bonds in amounts that people cannot afford. Since then, the number of people incarcerated at Cook County Jail (CCJ) has dropped significantly, but the work to abolish money bond is not complete! 

Read about and download “Monitoring Cook County’s Central Bond Court: A Community Courtwatching Initiative”.

Around 90% of people incarcerated at CCJ are there pretrial–meaning that they have not been convicted of a crime. Most are still locked up simply because they can’t afford to pay their bonds. The Chicago Community Bond Fund has been bonding people out of CCJ since 2015, and has been organizing, along with the Coalition to End Money Bond, to end the use of unaffordable money bond altogether. 

A lot advances were made last year to abolish money bond. Come to this teach-in to learn about the local efforts to end money bond, including results of a courtwatching effort by the Coalition to End Money Bond! The Report exposes the lack of consistent implementation of the General Order. 

The Courtwatching Report is the result of several months of community organizing and policy advocacy by the Coalition to End Money Bond. Over the the course of three months last fall, the Coalition organized more than 70 volunteers to observe Cook County’s Central Bond Court almost daily. After several months of data analysis we are thrilled to be able to share and celebrate their work with all of you and discuss next steps in the fight to #EndMoneyBail!

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