1,000 signatures reached
To: Illinois Supreme Court on Pretrial Practices via Hon. Robbin J. Stuckert, Chair
Demand the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices Recommend Supreme Court Rule
Dear Hon. Robbin J. Stuckert and members of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices:
We the people of Illinois are calling on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices to recommend adoption of a proposed Supreme Court Rule to prohibit incarceration due solely to the inability to afford a money bond as part of its report on pretrial reforms in December 2019. This proposed Supreme Court Rule is supported by more than 70 community organizations, all Cook County justice system stakeholders, and former Attorney General Eric Holder. These diverse constituencies all agree that access to wealth should not determine pretrial freedom and that unaffordable money bonds undermine the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Why is this important?
Every year, more than a quarter of a million people are incarcerated while awaiting trial in Illinois. These individuals are treated as if they are guilty until proven innocent and are locked up most often because they can’t afford to pay a money bond. Wealth-based incarceration is destroying our communities by separating parents from their children, workers from their employment, and caregivers from those who need them most.
In 2017, more than 70 community organizations called on the Supreme Court of Illinois to issue a Supreme Court rule that would eliminate this unjust and archaic practice. That call was supported by the Cook County Chief Judge, Public Defender, State’s Attorney, Board President, and Sheriff. Later that year, the Illinois Supreme Court established its Commission on Pretrial Practices to review this unjust system. In December 2019, the commission will release a report with official findings and recommendations for improvement of Illinois’ pretrial justice system. These recommendations could include changes to state law, new Supreme Court rules, or even constitutional amendments.
We are now calling on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices recommend that the Supreme Court of Illinois adopt the proposed rule to end wealth-based incarceration once and for all.