Rev. Jesse Jackson used his traditional Christmas Day visit to the Cook County jail to offer a new message of hope.
Rev Jackson spoke to a crowd of about 360 inmates, male and female, about a lawsuit Rainbow Push plans to file on their behalf against Cook County. The suit calls for detainees who have been held in custody for more than a year awaiting trial and those who are charged with non-violent offenses but cannot make bail to be released on electronic monitoring. He says it would be cheaper and more efficient. Jackson says there are 57 Cook County inmates awaiting trial that have been behind bars for more than 5 years.
Rev. Jackson is also calling for a federal investigation by the Dept of Justice, saying this is violation of the inmates 6th and 8th Amendment rights, the right to a speedy trial and the prohibition of excess bail and cruel and usual punishment.
A spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says he’s on board and says these are some of the reforms he’s been pushing for.