D’s Story

D grew up in El Paso, Texas, where he learned to speak English and Spanish and grow his own vegetables in the backyard. When he was 12, his family moved to Chicago so they could leave an abusive step-father. Throughout his life, D has been a hard worker both in and out of the classroom. He has his GED and has also learned several trades including culinary arts, carpentry, and upholstery. Before his recent arrest, he had a job repairing transmissions and was able to create a positive life for himself and his family. D’s family had a truck and was renting a three-bedroom house. D says his life “was all about family.” During the day, he would go to work while his partner stayed home with the children, and then he would cook dinner when he got home. He loved taking care of his partner and two children, ages two and nine at the time.

In June 2017, the police came to D’s home and arrested him in front of his family. He was eventually taken to 26th and California. In bond court, D was given a $75,000 D-bond, requiring an unfathomable $7,500 to purchase his freedom. The cost of his money bond was especially out of reach because D’s partner was pregnant at the time. This forced him to sit in Cook County Jail (CCJ) for almost a year while awaiting trial. During his time in jail, D saw leeches in the showers and had to endure a hot water shutoff. He found the conditions of incarceration to be so inhumane that he had suicidal thoughts. While D was incarcerated, he lost his truck, his job, and his family’s home.

D’s partner was instrumental in getting him out of jail and summoned tremendous strength caring for the family while he was incarcerated. She visited him in CCJ often and picked up his paychecks and his 401K from his former employer to sustain their family and provide D with commissary money. While in Division 11 in Cook County Jail, D heard about CCBF from another person in his division. Working with D’s partner, CCBF was able to free D after 10 months of incarceration, and he was released in April 2018.

Ten months later, D’s case is still open and still not set for trial. Since they lost their house while he was in jail, D, his partner, and their three children are currently staying with her mother in a small apartment in the Western suburbs. After his release, D got a job cleaning out homes for demolition but fell from a third story and was seriously injured. Since then, he has applied for disability benefits and has been receiving unemployment. Right now, D is focused on doing physical therapy so he can provide for his growing family. D’s partner is pregnant again—this time with twins! They are very happy to have D out to support them. Once D’s case is over, the family hopes to move to Nashville, TN to live closer to D’s siblings.

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