Monthly Rate of Unaffordable D-Bonds Has Tripled
In September 2017, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans issued General Order 18.8A, which instructs judges to set money bonds only in amounts that people can afford to pay. Despite this Order, judges have continued to set money bonds in amounts higher than people can pay, which causes them to be incarcerated pretrial in Cook County Jail. From November 2017 to June of this year, the monthly rate of unaffordable money bonds has tripled from 9% to 29%. As we approach nearly a year since the order took effect, almost 2,500 people are still incarcerated in Cook County Jail simply because they can’t afford to pay bond.
Jailing people pretrial because they cannot afford to pay a money bond punishes legally innocent people. Pretrial incarceration leads to a variety of devastating consequences including loss of jobs, housing, and custody of children. No one should be incarcerated because they don’t have money to pay bond. Bond court judges should be following General Order 18.8A so that no one is incarcerated because they can’t pay bond.