Maria and her 19-year-old daughter Destiny were arrested on April 28, 2016 and charged with aggravated battery against a police officer just days after Maria’s son and Destiny’s brother Gino was shot and killed in North Lawndale. Maria’s bond was set at $50,000 and Destiny’s was set at $25,000, as they grieved for Gino from Cook County Jail. The next day, they were both released on electronic monitoring. Due to Cook County Sheriff regulations that two people cannot be on house arrest at the same address, Maria was dropped off at her sister’s house in one neighborhood and Destiny was dropped off at her mother’s in a different one.
Over the next two weeks, Maria and Destiny were denied every request for movement they and their attorney made. Maria and Destiny both worked as cleaners through a temp agency. Destiny was also a senior in high school. Despite letters and paperwork from Maria’s employers and Destiny’s school, the only movement they received was to attend Gino’s wake and funeral—which had already been rescheduled once because of their arrests. Because their requests for movement to go to work were repeatedly denied, Maria and Destiny were in danger of losing their apartment due to their inability to support themselves while on house arrest.
Recognizing the urgency of their situation, CCBF posted the $7,500 in bond on May 16th. Maria and Destiny were both able to return to work, and Destiny was able to finish school. Most importantly, they are both able to fight their charges without the social isolation and financial burden of house arrest. CCBF is committed to challenging the use of electronic monitoring as a viable alternative to complete release pending trial. What happened to Maria and Destiny illustrates that, like jail, house arrest has a profoundly disruptive impact on employment, education and community healing.