CHICAGO (CBS) — Many of the gun offenders arrested by Chicago police over the weekend walked out of jail on bond, without having to pay a dime.
As of Monday morning, 19 people had been arrested on gun-related charges. By Monday afternoon, 11 were back on the street, some with prior gun offenses.READ MORE: After Benet Academy Hires Gay Lacrosse Coach, Abbot Who Oversees School Says He Is 'Deeply Troubled'
âWe know who a lot of these people are,â Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said. âAnd how do we know that? Because we keep arresting them over and over and over and over and over again. And it’s just a vicious cycle.â
In a tweet Sunday night, a Chicago police spokesperson criticized the practice of letting gun offenders out on Individual Recognizance Bonds or âI-Bonds.â
An I-Bond allows a defendant to be released without having to pay, on the promise that he or she will return for the next court date.
The tweet said, in part, “Letting gun offenders out on I-Bonds shows there is absolutely no repercussion for carrying illegal guns In Chicago.”
For a year-and-a-half period from 2015 to 2016, CBS 2 discovered that I-Bonds for gun offenders were given at least a dozen times.
In one 2016 case, Cardell Brown was charged and convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.Â Then when he was on probation he was charged with battery and he walked away on an I-Bond.
âNeither the judge or the prosecutor has a crystal ball,â Steven Block, CBS 2 legal analyst, said.READ MORE: Lake County Man Dies From First Case Of Rabies In Illinois Since 1954, After Waking Up With Bat On Neck
Block said the Chicago Police Department might be oversimplifying the issue.
âSomeone will go out and do something bad on bond. Thatâs inevitable, but what we need to look at is how you handle the cases on a whole,â he said.
Last month, the Cook County Circuit Court released data showing the frequency of I-Bonds has nearly doubled since new bail practices went into effect in 2017.
But the data doesn’t say how many were for gun charges.
The data also shows slight uptick in the number of defendants charged with a violent crime who are released on bond.
“This report shows that judges are respecting the rights of the accused by releasing eligible pretrial defendants from jail without increasing the threat to public safety,” Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans said last month in a statement.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said it agrees with CPD: It does not recommend I-Bonds in cases involving gun offenses.MORE NEWS: Three Men Steal $10K Worth of Merchandise From Ulta Store
In a statement, an office representative said since the beginning of this year, 72% of gun related cases received monetary bail or no bond.