Proposal: Use tax dollars to bail out jail inmates

Cook County residents may see their tax dollars go towards bailing inmates out of jail.

County commissioner Larry Suffredin is proposing using tax money to help free nonviolent offenders who committed minor crimes.

cook county jailHe hopes this will help reduce the major overcrowding problem at the jail, and save taxpayers money.

Inmates who accept the loans would have to pay the county back.

The tax dollars would only be used to launch the program. Suffredin believes $2 million would be enough to establish a fund. But, he eventually believes the plan would be able to pay for itself through savings.

Studies show it takes inmates 13 days to raise bond money, on average.

“What we’re gonna do for these people at the $2,000 level, so these are small bonds, we’ll be able to cut that I think to at the most three days, which would mean cutting 10 days off of being in the jail awaiting to make bail. And that would be ten days at $143 a day, so per person, we’d be saving probably, on an average, $1,4oo,” said Suffredin.

A study will be presented on March 1st.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is in favor of the proposal, and County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says she’s open to any and all ideas to reform the criminal justice system.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this report.

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