Illinois Justice Project

Bond Reform - Q5 - Illinois Gubernatorial Candidates Criminal Justice Questionnaire

Illinois Gubernatorial Candidates Criminal Justice Questionnaire



V. Bond Reform

Although presumed innocent before trial, thousands of men and women across Illinois are sitting in jail solely because they cannot afford to pay the bail set by a circuit court judge. Recent reform-- including the Bail Reform Act of 2017 passed by the 100th General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Rauner and local efforts in Cook County initiated by both the Chief Judge and the State’s Attorney of Cook County – have not eliminated the use of cash bond. The financial and family consequences facing low-income people in jail are enormous. Some innocent people will languish for years in jail until trial and then are released; others will plead guilty because they want to return to their homes as quickly as possible to keep their lives on track. Some Illinois courts keep up to 10% of all bonds – even when a person is found not guilty or charges have been dropped – and have become dependent on the bond system.


How would you reform the Illinois bond system?


J.B. Pritzker Candidate Response

I will protect people from being unfairly detained and imprisoned by leading the fight to abolish the monetary bail system and replacing it with a validated risk assessment tool that is fair to all of our communities. I'm also in favor of stopping the unjust application of fees and fines that burden those who can’t afford to pay, leading to incarceration.