Cook County officials will hold a public hearing next month on pretrial detention and bond court practices.
The public hearing, set for November 17, was announced Monday by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioners Richard Boykin (1st District), Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (7th District), Peter Silvestri (9th District) and John Fritchey (12th District).
"I support the commissioners' call to bring clarity and visibility to this issue, and I urge all of our stakeholders to continue working together and continue to reduce unnecessary pretrial detention," Preckwinkle said in a statement.
The announcement comes after two jail detainees recently filed a class-action lawsuit challenging Cook County's bond system. The suit argues that "excessive" bail amounts violate the rights of detainees who cannot afford to post bond.
"A recently filed class-action lawsuit has raised constitutional issues in the operation of bond court that the Cook County Board of Commissioners must be aware of as we prepare to vote on a Cook County budget that includes $330 million per year to maintain jail operations," Garcia said in a statement.
Silvestri added: "This is a question of fairness. We are still innocent until proven guilty in this country. If you are guilty of a crime you should be incarcerated. If you are awaiting trial and there is no finding of guilt, and the nature of the crime does not present a threat to the public, we should not be expending public money on the jail."
The hearing is set for 10 a.m. November 17 on the fifth floor of the Cook County Building, 118 N. Clark St.