By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader
Having launched a local bail bond reform movement in Chicago, former mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson Sunday expanded his crusade to a national level while continuing to urge Illinois legislators to pass his jail reform bills, HB3717 and SB557.
If those bills pass the Illinois General Assembly, offenders committing low-level misdemeanor crimes, will not have to go to jail. Rather, they would be released on an I-bond. Dr. Wilson began this campaign after learning many Cook County Jail detainees remain in jail for more than a year because they could not afford a $100 or $300 bond.
“No one should be in jail that long and without a court date just because they don’t have enough money to meet bond,” said Wilson.
Dr. Wilson made his announcement during a press conference held at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church, 5141 S. State Street, where he spoke to more than 1,000 members including 25 of the more than 175 people he has bailed out of jail and 25 people whose property taxes he had paid. Wilson gave the former detainees and homeowners $100 each.
When asked why did he choose Easter to launch his national campaign, Wilson said. “I chose Easter because it is Resurrection Day—the day Christ rose form the dead. For those people we helped, it was resurrection…a time to give them a second chance.”