No evidence bond reform is to blame for Chicago’s gun violence

Police Supt. David Brown should quit falling back on that disproven claim. But he’s right that the best way to stop violence is to prevent it in the first place.

SHARE No evidence bond reform is to blame for Chicago’s gun violence
Police at the scene of a fatal shooting in Englewood on July 4th, one of the most violent weekends this year.

Police at the scene of a fatal shooting in Englewood on July 4th, one of the most violent weekends this year.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Despite decades of claims from city officials and the Chicago Police Department that more policing and aggressive imprisonment will help curb gun violence, the evidence has continually shown the opposite. To see Police Supt. David Brown fall back on a long-standing contention that bond reform is somehow to blame, is incredibly disappointing.

Chicago’s crime rates have fallen since 2014. Over the same time period, fewer people have been incarcerated in Cook County Jail, which has saved taxpayers millions of dollars and avoidedthe unnecessary trauma caused by pretrial incarceration. There is simply no evidence that bond reform has caused crime. Bond reform has been immensely successful in beginning to restore equity to our courts and strengthen our communities.

Judges should not have the power to hold poor people in jail simply for being poor.

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Brown is right about one thing: the best way to stop violence is to prevent it in the first place. Yet community-based anti-violence groups last year received only $9 million of the $50 million in funding they needed. We must invest in our communities and fully fund neighborhood-driven anti-violence and anti-poverty programs.

Public officials fail when they actively ignore the facts and fail to call for proven solutions to the problem of gun violence. CPD’s budget for 2020 is more than $1.7 billion; there is clearly plenty of money available to help our communities heal. The city must prioritizeanti-violence work in Chicago and focus on investing in neighborhoods instead of overfunding police and jails.

Sarah Staudt, senior policy analyst & staff attorney, Chicago Appleseed

The Blackhawks name

Would someone please explain why there is a movement by some to have the ChicagoBlackhawks’name changed and logo removed?

It has always been near the top of the list of most recognizable team symbols ever, often voted the most iconic. Not only does it not embody negative stereotypes, it actually features a Native American in fullheaddress, which denotes strength, power and leadership.

Where will this politicalnonsense end?

Stuart Rudy,Northbrook

The president’s job duties

According to the White House, the president does not read his daily briefing on foreign affairs supplied by intelligence agencies.

As a retired federal employee, I find this fairly amazing. I have reflected on how much time I spent reading memorandums, instructions and handbooks. Much of this reading matter was not particularly interesting, but doing so was a duty relevant to my position and performance.

Had I ever failed to correctly perform my duties, I could not inform my supervisor that I had just decided not to read. I might be able to claim that I was occupied with assignments or meeting deadlines, and may have missed seeing something, but that was about the only excuse for negligence.

Every federal position has four or five “critical elements.” Failing to perform any of them can result in discipline — specifically, a performance-based removal action.

For the president, reading his daily briefing qualifies as a critical task.

Charles Paidock, Bridgeport

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