Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Tim Evans, chief judge of the Cook County Circuit Court, are caught up in a dispute about the effectiveness of Evans’ bail reform program and its possible contribution to the surge of violent crime in Chicago.

Lightfoot and Evans disagree about the effectiveness of ankle bracelets — also referred to as “electronic monitoring.” They’re used to track people accused of violent crimes on early release while they await trial.

Evans’ bail-reform program, implemented in 2017, seeks to reduce the jail population and reduce inequity in the criminal justice system by releasing the accused, binding an ankle with a device that tracks their movements and demanding they show up in court.

The mayor says too many of those people wind up committing violent crimes. She claims such shootings and killings were a key factor in the surge of homicides and other violent crime last year. At news conferences and in a letter, she is pressuring Evans to suspend the program.


David Greising

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative...