Willie Wilson to bail out Chicago inmates who can’t afford bond
Willie Wilson, a Chicago businessman and former candidate for mayor, wants to help give some Cook County inmates a second chance.
Wilson recently announced his plan to spend thousands of dollars to post bond for people facing nonviolent, misdemeanor charges who could not otherwise afford bond. The issue is close to his heart, as his son was sent to jail on drug charges but was shot shortly after his release.
“If we can save one out of a thousand, then it’s worth it,” he said.
Wilson’s pilot program will begin with $15,000 to bail out 15 to 20 inmates with bonds set at $1,000 or less. What’s more, he will give each inmate $200 upon their release to help them as they look toward the second chance. Defendants who are unable to pay their bail may seek the assistance of professional bail bonds agencies and get help from a bail bonds expert.
“I can’t police them. All I can do is do a good deed and hope for the best,” Wilson said. “I’m trusting that they’ll make the right decision and understanding the situation.”
Wilson will also be offering them resources to help them find a brighter future and plans to ask them questions so he can help: “If you don’t have a GED, will you consider going to school for GED or a trade? If there’s a drug problem, will you consider going for something to get some help?”
“ [I] just hope that they can get out and they have a different mind, different perspective,” Wilson said.