Lawsuit challenges Cook County Jail holding people who can't afford bond

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
MacArthur Justice Center
MacArthur Justice Center and other community groups are filing the lawsuit that argues that it is unconstitutional to set high bonds at the Cook County Jail.

A new lawsuit challenges Cook County's practice of jailing people who are too poor to pay bond.

The I-Team has shared the story of Bianca Young, who was unable to post bond while awaiting trial.

The new class-action lawsuit is filed by Cook County Jail inmates like her who argue it is unconstitutional to set bonds that defendants cannot pay.

"This is wealth discrimination with respect to the most critical right that all of us share in common the right to be free," said Locke Bowman, of the MacArthur Justice Center.

The center and other community groups are seeking alternatives to monetary bonds that would allow eligible people awaiting trial to return to their communities, regardless of their ability to pay.