Petition for Cash Bond Reform
The current cash bond system - like our criminal justice system as a whole - is fundamentally broken, and it is in need of a complete overhaul. For this reason, on November 15th, I publicly called for the elimination of the cash bond system. Our jail should be a place for violent and dangerous individuals - not a warehouse for the poor, disenfranchised, and mentally ill who cannot come up with the income to buy their freedom. Unfortunately, this is what has occurred as a result of our flawed cash bond system.
If you do not have money, then you will sit in jail; but, if you have money, you can get out and gain your freedom. As such, dangerous criminals with access to cash can get out and terrorize our communities, while poor individuals cannot get justice, and instead, are criminalized and penalized simply for being poor.
Therefore, this is a call to action against this "pay-for-freedom" cash bond system.
The public cannot afford the effects of this catastrophe any longer. The public can no longer afford to allow gun offenders to roam free and continue to endanger the community simply because of their ability to access money. Similarly, the public cannot continue to afford the costs of housing people in jail simply because they cannot access enough money to buy their freedom.
This is a flawed and broken system. It needs to change.
Since I became the Cook County Sheriff, it has always been my belief that we must work daily to mitigate and eliminate the injustices of our criminal justice system. Eliminating the cash bond system, as it presently exists, is not only a necessary step in the right direction that is consistent with that goal, but it is something that we can achieve together.
I continue to appreciate your friendship and support. I hope that you will sign this petition and join me in urging my fellow officeholders and policymakers to overhaul this structurally flawed and broken system.
Thomas J. Dart
Cook County Sheriff
Show your support for the Sheriff by signing this petition »