Money Bond is ABOLISHED in Illinois!
On Monday, September 18, 2023, Illinois celebrated becoming the first state in the country to abolish money bond with the full implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act. We want to deeply thank all the organizers, activists, and freedom fighters who made this win possible. We especially lift up the tireless work of the Coalition to End Money Bond and the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice. CCBF is one part of this amazing ecosystem of movement organizations and networks in Chicago and throughout Illinois.
Since this journey to end money bond started in 2016, we have been up against many challenges, from disbelief that this could ever happen to incredibly harmful and racist misinformation campaigns. We have now arrived at a moment where the racial and economic injustice of money bond is no longer a reality here in Illinois. We welcome a future where people fighting a case can keep their job, care for their children, maintain their housing, and not be subjected to further harm inside a jail cell. This win is one part of our longer fight for abolition, freedom, and community care.
Quick ways to honor this historic moment and keep fighting for pretrial freedom:
- Send a letter now! Help us make sure legislators know we still support the Pretrial Fairness Act by asking them to stay strong when the next round of attacks surfaces.
- Purchase one of these shirts or sweaters designed by Grae Rosa! All proceeds will benefit Chicago Community Jail Support.
- You can also make a donation here to help build care kits for people being released, including hygiene kits, bus passes, grocery gift cards & more.
- Follow @chibondfund and @endmoneybond on social media to share posts and articles in the days to come. Political education is a huge part of this process.
What does this mean for Chicago Community Bond Fund?
- Money Bond: While no new money bonds will be given in Cook County or any county in Illinois, there will be a period of transition in the coming months for people incarcerated pretrial before September 18th with existing money bonds. CCBF will be paying bonds through the end of this year on a limited basis.
- Pretrial Fairness Act Monitoring: We will be monitoring the implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act with our partners in the Coalition to End Money Bond and the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice. Law enforcement and court system stakeholders will be held accountable to fully implement the policies outlined in the Pretrial Fairness At. Our advocacy work will be ongoing within this new system, as our mission has always been about both long-term policy change and on-the-ground support for people and their loved ones.
- Post-Release Support: We continue to accompany community members who are still fighting cases by checking in with them after CCBF pays their bond. This is critical support to ensure they have a trusted staff member to contact with questions ranging from legal issues, housing, groceries, and transportation. We will also focus on providing education to and with the community during this period of major transition, as the new system will no doubt lead to some confusion and questions as things change. We want to make sure folks have stability and support during this time and into 2024.
To sustain this work and general operations, we still need fundraising support and contributions. CCBF has experienced a drop in individual donations in the past year, and the community that has historically supported us has experienced a lot of economic hardship. DONATE HERE to our newly launched peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, Friends Funding Freedom!
Again, we are incredibly grateful for this community of activists, supporters, organizers, and donors that make our collective practices of abolition and mutual aid possible.