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BloNo Democratic Socialists of America to have Abolish Cash-Bail Event

Written by on October 23, 2020

Photo courtesy to BloNo DSA Facebook page

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – This week, organizers and activists with the Bloomington-Normal Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America are doubling down on efforts to mobilize the community to call for the end of wealth-based pretrial detention known as “cash bail” or “money bond”.

This week BloNo DSA joined allies around the state in mobilizing nearly 3,000 people to file witness slips in support of abolishing cash bail for a subject matter hearing held by the Illinois Senate Committee on Criminal Law.

Tonight at 5:30, organizers will hold a demonstration at the McLean County Museum of History to raise awareness about the “unjust cash bail system,” hear from area candidates on the issue, and march to Grossinger Motors Arena to cast their ballots early.

“It is time for Illinois and every state in the nation to put an end to wealth-based punishment by ending money bond. Every year in our community, so many parents and spouses, workers and caregivers, people who are loved and needed, have their lives derailed, bringing harm to their families and to the people who depend on them, putting their housing and incomes in jeopardy, as they are forced to languish in the cruelty of the criminal punishment system, and not because they have been proven guilty or are deemed a safety risk, but because they cannot afford the price of their pretrial freedom,” said Louis Goseland, Public Relations Officer for Bloomington-Normal Democratic Socialists of America.

Nearly two years ago, BloNo DSA, in collaboration with Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal and allies in the community, launched a campaign called Decarcerate BloNo.

The local campaign is part of the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice, a statewide alliance organizing to pass The Pretrial Fairness Act, which will completely eliminate the role of money in the pretrial justice system and dramatically reduce the number of people incarcerated pretrial in Illinois

Before the coronavirus pandemic turned our world upside down, the state of Illinois was closer than ever to enacting transformative pretrial justice reform.

In January, Governor JB Pritzker announced that passing legislation to end money bond was a top priority of his administration. While the closing of the Illinois legislature in March put their efforts to hold him to that promise on pause, the momentum is building once again for the passage of the Pretrial Fairness Act.

The Pretrial Fairness Act doesn’t just end money bond.

It simplifies the factors considered in bond decisions and creates a clear process for release and detention decisions.

According to the DSA, the Pretrial Fairness Act makes common-sense changes to the warrant system that support people who miss court dates to hold themselves accountable without fear of further criminalization. Finally, the Pretrial Fairness Act also improves county data collection practices so that qualitative information will be available to monitor both implementation of reforms and inform future policy changes. The DSA says these are the types of changes we know will make Illinois’ pretrial justice system more equitable.