CHICAGO — The Cook County state’s attorney’s office says its prosecutors will start backing the release of suspects without bond for minor offenses pending resolution of their case.

In a statement Monday, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said detaining people accused of low-level offenses who have not yet been convicted simply because they are poor is unjust.

Under the new policy, judges will still make the final decision about a defendant’s bail. However, prosecutors of misdemeanor and low-level felony cases will recommend the defendants be released if they do not have a history of violent crime or pose a risk to public safety.

On Friday, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law specifying cash bail is not necessary for people charged with nonviolent crimes.

The inability to post bond and be released pending trial is one reason for jail overcrowding.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.