On February 9, 2018, HSPRD’s Chirag Badlani spoke at a symposium called “Out on Bail: A Dialogue on the Dynamic Criminal Justice Reform Movement,” hosted by the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Chirag spoke on a panel addressing reform efforts in Cook County to reduce the use of wealth-based pre-trial detention, and discussed how the current cash bail system imposes financial conditions of release without an inquiry into an arrestee’s ability to pay, in violation of the federal and state constitutions. In October of 2016, HSPRD, working with the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center and Civil Rights Corps, filed a class-action lawsuit against Cook County judges alleging that thousands of impoverished arrestees are being illegally detained in Cook County jail due solely to their inability to pay their monetary bonds, and that the illegal practices complained of disparately impact African Americans. Since that time, HSPRD has worked together with community organizations and stakeholders to reduce the reliance on wealth-based detention for presumptively innocent individuals in Cook County and beyond.
To learn more about Chirag’s practice, click here.