Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Money bond, pretrial incarceration hurting Chicago's LGBTQ Communities
GUEST COLUMN
by Irene Romulo, Director of Advocacy, Chicago Community Bond Fund
2018-06-20

This article shared 2390 times since Wed Jun 20, 2018
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


On any given day, more than 90% of people in Cook County Jail ( "CCJ" ) are presumed innocent and yet are locked up pretrial while waiting their trial.

Although the number of LGBTQ people at CCJ is not officially available, we can assume that a disproportionate number of them are part of the LGBTQ community since national studies have found that LGB people are incarcerated at three times the rate as the general population. Transgender adults are even more likely to be incarcerated, with 16% of them having spent time in prison or jail as compared to only 2.7% of all adults.

As of today, the Cook County Sheriff reports that there are 12 transgender people incarcerated in Cook County Jail. We know, however, that there are many more transgender and gender-nonconforming people in CCJ who are not counted in this official estimate. Pervasive misgendering by criminal justice system actors, increased risk of targeted violence from correctional officers if someone self identifies as LGBTQ, and constant failures to follow the jail's own gender identity policy all guarantee that many queer, trans and gender-nonconforming people will not be included in official reports.

Disproportionate targeting from policing coupled with increased barriers to education, housing, employment, and increased likelihood to live in poverty all contribute to the overrepresentation of LGBQ, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, especially people of color, in the criminal legal system. The use of money bonds, which require posting of money in exchange for freedom, further increases their disproportionate pretrial jailing since many are simply less likely to have the personal financial resources or family support required to pay bond.

In a 2014 Black and Pink survey of LGBTQ prisoners across the United States, 74% of respondents were incarcerated pretrial because they could not afford to pay their bond. More than half of the respondents were incarcerated for a year or longer simply for being poor. Even if someone is able to pay a money bond, conditions of release that require a home address ( such as electronic monitoring ) also lead to disproportionate incarceration of LGBTQ people, who are considerably more likely to experience homelessness than cis-straight people, and also less likely to be able to access shelters and supportive housing. The increased likelihood that LGBTQ people will be incarcerated pretrial is extremely concerning since LGBTQ people are at increased risk of experiencing sexual, physical, and emotional violence while in jail.

Pretrial incarceration also severely impacts the stability and safety of LGBTQ communities. Spending just a single day in jail can set off a chain of devastating events—not just for the person who is arrested, but also their families, whether biological or chosen. After just a few days of incarceration, people can lose their jobs, housing, access to medical care, and they can be kicked out of crucial opportunities like education and career programs. This is all punishment before conviction.

Separating people from their families, friends and support networks increases the likelihood that they will be trapped in cycles of arrest and incarceration, thereby making all of us less safe. The compounding negative effects of money bond and pretrial incarceration greatly outweigh any perceived benefits of jailing people before their trial.

Currently, there are 2,500 people incarcerated at Cook County Jail only because they cannot afford to pay their money bonds. Many have been in jail for more than a year waiting for their cases to resolve, and each additional day increases the chance that they will be forced to accept a guilty plea in exchange for their release.

The use of money bond and pretrial incarceration exacerbates issues in LGBTQ communities and communities of color, where long-term divestment and over-policing already deprive people of safety. These issues are even starker for queer, trans and gender-nonconforming people of color, who are often targeted simply for existing in public.

Eliminating the use of money bond and pretrial incarceration is necessary not just to ensure that accused people are able to fight their cases from a place of freedom, increasing the chance that their charges will be dismissed or that they will be given non-criminal dispositions, but also to ensure that we all have a chance to live and to thrive.

A person's access to money should not determine whether they will be forced to remain in jail or walk free.

To support bond reform in Cook County and ensure that people are not incarcerated because they are poor, sign this petition here: chicagobond.org/support_bond_reform.html .

Irene Romulo is the Director of Advocacy at the Chicago Community Bond Fund. You can follow CCBF on Twitter @ChiBondFund and on our website www.chicagobond.org .


This article shared 2390 times since Wed Jun 20, 2018
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: Incumbent 49th Ward Ald. Maria Hadden talks accomplishments, second term goals
2023-02-01
ELECTIONS 2023: Incumbent 49th Ward Ald. Maria Hadden discusses accomplishments, second term goals By Carrie Maxwell This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: 49th Ward challenger Belia Rodriguez on why running, differences from incumbent
2023-02-01
This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. Belia Rodriguez is a lifelong Chicagoan who attended Chicago Public Schools. ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023 Lamont Robinson talks political switch, guns, LGBTQ+ issues
2023-01-30
This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. When it comes to politics, Lamont Robinson has, for several years, ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: Candidate Larry Svabek describes his vision for the 48th Ward
2023-01-30
This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. Twenty-nine year old Larry Svabek has been an instructor, lecturer and ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023 Jessie Fuentes: 26th Ward candidate talks mental health, LGBTQ+ Chicagoans
2023-01-30
This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. The 2023 race to represent Chicago's 26th Ward—which includes parts of ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: Incumbent 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa seeks third term, talks accomplishments
2023-01-30
This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. A life-long Chicagoan, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) is running unopposed ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023 Raymond Lopez on running for alderman, endorsing Willie Wilson
2023-01-29
This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. The last time Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez talked with Windy City ...


Gay News

WORLD Pope Francis, non-binary minor, athlete dies at 35, Taiwan
2023-01-29
Pope Francis made headlines when he told the Associated Press on Jan. 24 that "being homosexual is not a crime," although he also described being gay as sinful, Gay City News noted. The pontiff called on ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Missing student, Utah bill, Atlanta Pride, crime items, Castro bar
2023-01-29
A New York City law student has been missing for weeks—and his brother said his last known location was The Q, a gay bar in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, NBC News reported. Jordan Taylor, 29, a ...


Gay News

Lesbian named presiding judge of Cook County Circuit Court's Pretrial Division
2023-01-27
--From a press release - CHICAGO (January 27) — The Hon. Mary C. Marubio has been named the acting presiding judge of the Pretrial Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans said. Marubio (who Windy ...


Gay News

FDA to relax rules of blood donations for gay, bisexual men
2023-01-27
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly slated to lift restrictions on blood donations from sexually active gay and bisexual men. However, there's at least one stipulation, The Advocate reported: A gay or bisexual ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT The FBI, Loaves of Bread, Corruption, and Reform
2023-01-25
When I was 13 years old I used to ride shot gun with my uncle A. on his Italian bread truck deliveries. My job was to enter the store with him and remove the old, stale loaves of bread while he ...


Gay News

Pope says being gay no crime, cites anti-LGBTQ laws in 70 countries. LGBTQ leaders respond
2023-01-25
--From press releases - (January 25, 2023) — Pope Francis called laws that criminalize same-sex relationships "unjust," stating that "being homosexual is not a crime" in an interview with the Associated Press today. The Pope also called for the Roman ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Calif. bills, DeSantis, HIV vaccine, Meta, college items
2023-01-22
Buried within the bills California legislators filed after Gov. Gavin Newsom released his budget proposal for the 2023-2024 fiscal year is a line seeking to retrieve $13 million back from the state's Transgender Wellness and Equity ...


Gay News

One in five older LGBT adults experienced poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic
2023-01-19
--From a press release - A new report from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that during the COVID-19 pandemic LGBT adults aged 50 and older were more likely to have household incomes below the federal poverty level ...


 




Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.