Electronic Monitoring and Pretrial Injustice in the Media

This month, the Chicago Reader and TRiiBE published two investigative pieces highlighting the experiences of Shannon RossJeremy “Mohawk” Johnson, and others being subjected to pretrial electronic monitoring in Cook County. They were surveilled inside their homes with severely limited access to basic needs and responsibilities, terrorized by faulty technology that constantly falsely accused them of violating their monitoring rules, and continually harassed by Sheriff’s officers and threatened with wrongful rearrest and incarceration. Learn more about the everyday human toll of electronic monitoring here to understand why protecting people subjected to e-carceration is critical to the fight for pretrial justice. 

Another front on the fight for pretrial justice is protecting the presumption of innocence. Recently, Mayor Lori Lightfoot claimed that accused people should be treated as guilty when charged and jailed pretrial. In a Chicago Tribune letter, University of Chicago legal scholars highlight how her call violates the principles of justice she claims to uphold and distracts from truly addressing violence in Chicago. 

Calls for more electronic monitoring restrictions and increased pretrial jailing are an attempt to scapegoat and shift blame away from root causes of violence in Chicago. In a recent Chicago Tribune article, our legislative allies call out the need to invest in resources for communities, not incarceration, because “the sobering reality is that the money bond system has failed to keep us safe.”

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