By Chinta Strausberg
Humanitarian, music artist and former presidential candidate Dr. Willie Wilson late Sunday night confirmed he is paying bail bond money for numerous non-violent Cook County Corrections inmates who are too poor to get out of jail and give each a crisp $100 bill.
The 68-year-old Wilson, who also ran for mayor, also confirmed he will be meeting with people who aspire to own their own businesses Monday at 6 p.m., at the Chicago Baptist Institute International, where he is chairman, 5120 So. King Dr., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wilson wants to help launch start-up businesses which he says is crucial to healing a broken community.
Dr. Wilson has a strong passion for helping Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart reduce his over-populated prison, especially those who are in there “for stealing toothpaste” and other petty, non-violent crimes. Wilson said it doesn’t make sense to keep detainees locked up at the taxpayer’s expense.
Monday, September 12, Wilson will be meeting with Dart’s top aides to ensure that the list of detainees he is bailing out does not include those suffering from mental health issues or who were arrested for violent crimes. Dart has repeatedly said he has a large number of mentally ill people in his jail.
Wilson will be armed with $10,000 in bail bond money to free non-violent detainees who committed misdemeanors.
“I want to bail out some of the men, white, Black and Asian. Some are there because they cannot pay a $50, $100 bond. Some are in jail because they stole food or may have had a fight. I have been giving money away to churches, but now I am paying bail bond money for non-violent people,” he said.
“I am hoping to get as many out of jail until 2017, and we will urge them to get a GED or if they are having substance abuse problems to seek rehab intervention,” Wilson said.
“I am trying to get to a place call heaven and seek every day to reach out and help with no price attached to it.” But Dr. Wilson has yet another good will project close to his heart.
“We are going to have a fund raiser to help veterans and senior citizens,” said Wilson vowing to raise up to $200,000 for veterans and seniors to help pay their utility bills.