Black Americans In “Indefinite Detention” Because they Can’t Afford Bond

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When you look at the fact that this heavily affects the poor community you will also see how this violating human rights.

Fifteen million people in the United States are locked up every year on criminal charges. The term “indefinite detention” is used to describe those who are incarcerated simply because they cannot afford to post bond and spend just waiting to go to trial. So even if you are innocent, even if there is evidence that shows you’re innocent if you can’t post bail you can spend three years waiting to plead your case. Many activists are calling this mass incarceration a human rights crisis, and say Cook County is one of the biggest offenders. And I’m sure you can guess which community it’s hitting the hardest, poor black communities.

Twenty-five year old Bianca Young two years in jail waiting to go on trial for murder, attempted murder and disturbing the peace. With her bail set $250,000 she spent two years in jail even though there was video footage showing her getting in her car moments before the shooting. She spent two years away from her child that she will never get back for a crime she didn’t commit.

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She is not alone. Don’t forget about Kalief Browder who killed himself at the age of 22 after spending 3 years in jail for a petty crime he didn’t commit. Even after being found innocent and having the opportunity to tell his story the trauma he experienced in jail still led him to suicide.

Chicago ABC News’, I-Team has found that 92 percent of the inmates in Cook County Jail have not been convicted of the crime they are charged with, compared with 60 percent nationally. Instead they are in jail waiting, many times for years, just to go on trial.

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PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.



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