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Bond doubles, but jail time craters

Friday, Jan 27, 2017

* Much higher bonds for gun defendants aren’t working

Since 2012, the median amount of bond set by Cook County judges for people charged with felony gun crimes has doubled — from $25,000 to $50,000. But over the same time period, the average number of days a defendant spends in jail before posting bond for a gun charge has fallen by more than half, from 42 to 18 days, according to the Tribune analysis. […]

But defendants accused of theft, who often can’t afford bond, typically spend more time in jail than those facing gun charges, the Tribune found.

Ugh.

* More from the Tribune

In the same time period, shootings increased by 42 percent while the number of firearm recoveries, as well as firearm-recovery arrests, have plunged. Firearm recovery arrests dropped by 9 percent, and gun recoveries fell by about 33 percent, from 12,650 in 2012 to 8,416 last year, according to police data.

That last part is a bit misleading because arrests appear to be slightly on the rise after a drop a few years ago

Still, this is not heartening at all.

* Meanwhile

Following the U.S. Department of Justice’s withering criticism of the Chicago Police Department’s training efforts, top police officials have vowed to improve a field training program that matches rookies with seasoned cops for on-the-job mentoring and education.

Yet two cops currently in training to become field training officers were themselves involved in separate controversial fatal shootings. Both fatalities resulted in multimillion-dollar legal payouts by the city.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments
  1. - charles in charge - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    These numbers illustrate just how bankrupt cash bail is as a policy. Public safety takes a back seat to the defendant’s ability to pay. Dangerous people who can afford to post bail walk, while poor people accused of nonviolent crimes rot in jail. We should end it now.


  2. - Roman - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:45 pm:

    It’s always difficult to establish cause-and-effect with crime data, so we should be cautious to leap to conclusions. But while violent crime rates climb, police activity — as measured by arrests, “street stops”, and solved cases — is down. The population numbers at Cook County Jail and IDOC have also decreased.

    Again, correlation does not equal causation. But I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest Chicago no longer has an “overpolicing” problem.


  3. - the647 - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    I’m confused why we want high bond to keep gun-crime defendants in jail before trial. Bond is about ensuring defendants show up to court. Sentences after one is found guilty are for punishment. People should spend time in jail after they are convicted not before. That is why we need bail reform.


  4. - Payback - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:13 pm:

    “Following the U.S. Department of Justice’s withering criticism of the Chicago Police Department’s training efforts, top police officials have vowed to improve a field training program that matches rookies with seasoned cops for on-the-job mentoring and education.”

    The field training officer program may be part of the problem. Who taught Jon Burge that hitting a suspect with a telephone book between their head and a billy club does not leave visible lumps in the scalp? Who taught Jon Burge that typewriter dust covers can be used to suffocate suspects to extract confessions?

    “Yet two cops currently in training to become field training officers were themselves involved in separate controversial fatal shootings.”

    “Lemmee show ya how things really work out here on the street, kid. Forgot all that garbage they teach you in the academy, and I’ll show ya how we do things around here.” (?)

    It’s been forty-eight years since the Democratic convention riots, and CPD still can’t get it’s act together. Maybe new recruits need to attend periodic training conducted by the IL state police or some other professional outside agency instead of relearning the same old bad habits?


  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    The # of handgun recoveries is staggering as is the # of gun arrests & shooting incidents. Factor in the gangs and the illegal drugs - can there be any wonder why the murder rate is not even higher?


  6. - In 630 - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:49 pm:

    Field training when your experienced officers are themselves poorly trained is just perpetuating a cycle of bad.


  7. - Amalia - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:12 pm:

    what is most interesting in this story is the actual quotes from named gang members. read them. they understand how the system can be gamed.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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