CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is making Martin Luther King day an opportunity to have a look inside her own jail, reports WBBM’s John Cody.
“We have five percent of the world’s population, 314 million people, but 25 percent of the people in the entire world who are in jail or prison,” said Preckwinkle.
Preckwinkle attributes the high percentage to incarceration of black and brown people at astronomical rates.
“Astronomical. 86 percent of the people in my jail are black and brown,” said Preckwinkle.
Speaking at Kingdom Baptist Church, President Preckwinkle said most of those incarcerated in Cook County are awaiting trial for non-violent offenses, not doing time.
She says it’s costing the county moral capital as well as millions of dollars as she pledged to push for more pre-trial release and jail diversion programs.