Rauner signs bail relief legislation in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation to reduce county jail crowding by granting bail relief to non-violent offenders.

The Republican governor signed the measure Friday in Chicago. Legislative sponsors joined him. They were Chicago Democratic state Sen. Donne Trotter, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs and Chicago Democratic state Rep. Elgie Sims.

Rauner says the plan improves the criminal justice system. He said, “Our system must work equally for all our residents.”

Trotter says release from jail while awaiting trial must not depend on ability to pay. The law will allow people accused of low-level crimes to have bail reviewed quickly and perhaps lowered if they’re indigent.

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