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Bill seeking to Reduce In-Custody Childbirths Passes Illinois General Assembly

A groundbreaking bill seeking to reduce the number of children born in custody to pre-trial detainees in Illinois was unanimously passed out of the Illinois Senate Thursday and will be sent to the Governor for signature.  

House Bill 1464, proposed by Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and sponsored by Sen. Toi Hutchinson and Sen. Napoleon Harris III, requires that pregnant detainees found likely to give birth during pre-trial detention be given an alternative to incarceration, such as electronic monitoring, unless a special hearing determines the release would pose a risk to public safety. The bill would not affect any criminal charges.

The bill was passed by the Illinois House of Representatives last year with bipartisan support on a vote of 106-008-000. Rep. Kelly M. Cassidy sponsored the bill in the House. 

Between April, 2016 and May, 2017, over 300 pregnant detainees were incarcerated in the Cook County Jail, 17 of whom gave birth while in custody during that time period.  

 


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