SPRINGFIELD – To end a system that punishes the poor, State Senator Donne Trotter is sponsoring a proposal that eliminates the state’s antiquated monetary bond process.
“Rather than providing all persons arrested an equitable opportunity to leave custody, it is only afforded to those who can pay the bond,” said Trotter, D-Chicago “This antiquated bond process only increases the likelihood of low income people being arrested for petty crimes and enduring harsher conditions than people from affluent backgrounds who commit the same crime. These trends of partiality toward people with wealth are prevalent in the justice system.”
The budget impasse has created a greater need for cost saving measures in Illinois. One area in great need of reform, said Trotter, is the prison system. The state squanders valuable resources on the holding of low risk offenders if they are unable to make bond.
The legislation is Senate Bill 552 which is in the Senate Criminal Law committee. An identical bill, House Bill 3717 has a hearing on Tuesday in the House Criminal Committee. These two pieces of legislature are critical in the fight against inequity in the justice system that hurts minorities and poorer families.