Suffredin- Changing County Government  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.

Bond court reform has not put more violent offenders back on the street

Wednesday, January 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times
by Toni Preckwinkle

Bond court reform has not put more violent offenders back on the street

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson recently addressed the City Club and implied that violent offenders are being released from custody due to lax bond court processes. That is not true.

Cook County has put in place many reforms to the bond court process over the last several years. These initiatives have made the bond court process fairer and more equitable, and they have also improved public safety in Cook County.

In September 2017, Chief Judge Timothy Evans issued a general order that encouraged judges to set affordable monetary bails, detain pretrial defendants who pose a danger to the community and provide community supervision of those released as needed.

Judges are using a validated public safety assessment tool, systematically using the analysis of risk factors for new offenses, violence and failures to appear to assist with bond decisions. Today at bond court you will see an improved courtroom and an expanded staff.

When I took office, the average number of detainees in the jail was more than 10,000.

Due to the efforts of Cook County’s public safety stakeholders, the average detainee population has decreased by more than 40 percent. The current population is now well below 6,000.

Five out of 10 felony defendants, nearly 50 percent, who appear in bond court now receive personal recognizance bonds, commonly referred to as I-bonds. This is up significantly from 2012 when the I-bonds were ordered in fewer than 20 percent of cases, for example.

Bond court reform has not contributed to an uptick in crime and violence in our communities. There has not been an increase in people re-offending after they have been released or not showing up to their court dates.

In fact, orders denying bail, which stipulate that defendants cannot be released under any conditions, have increased to 8 percent of felony cases up from 1 percent of felony cases. Bond court decisions have become better at separating non-violent offenders, who may just need a personal recognizance bond, from offenders who are likely to commit new violent offenses and must not be released.

Now, less than one half of 1 percent of all defendants released were charged with committing a new violent offense while in the community.

People are not being rearrested at the rates claimed by naysayers. Nearly 90 percent of felony defendants released from custody in the year following the issuing of the general order have not been re-arrested while they await trial.

People are coming to court. Almost 86 percent of felony defendants released in the year following the issuing of the general order have successfully appeared for all scheduled court dates.

Meanwhile in the County, crime rates continue to drop, including a substantial reduction in shootings while these reforms to bond court have been enacted.

These measures have helped improve our collective public safety while also ensuring that nonviolent defendants can continue to go to school, go to work and take care of their family while awaiting their day in court. Every day that a person spends in jail awaiting trial is a day they’ve lost of their life. We need people to be productive members of our communities, and remember that people are innocent until proven guilty.

Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president

Recent Headlines

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Northwest Herald

Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County senior exemption deadline extended
Monday, February 04, 2019
Daily Herald

Decadelong legal battle over Barrington Hills horse farm — eyed as huge forest preserve — may be nearing resolution
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.