Tom Dart defies Judge Edward Maloney’s order, lets gun defendant get 2-day furlough SAFE-T Act mandates

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Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. It doesn’t appear that Cook County Judge Edward M. Maloney has taken any action against the sheriff’s office for going against his order.

Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office is letting a man facing gun and drug charges get two “furlough days” a week from home confinement as he awaits trial, defying a judge’s order last month denying the furloughs that a controversial criminal justice reform now requires.

Royal Brown was released from jail last month after posting $8,000 in bail. Cook County Judge Edward Maloney put Brown on electronic monitoring with the condition that he couldn’t leave his home — and couldn’t get the two furlough days a week granted under a Jan. 1 provision of the SAFE-T Act, a new Illinois criminal reform law.

But Dart’s office says he’s obligated under the new law to provide the furlough days —  called “essential movement” — even though he disagrees with that portion of the law.

Last month, a lawyer for Dart’s office told Maloney the sheriff objected to the judge’s no-furlough order for Brown.

Once Brown was freed from jail on bail April 22, the sheriff’s office began giving him the two furlough days a week, as the law spells out are now required, a spokesman for Dart says.

“The sheriff’s office does not agree with the law ordering two days of movement and has attempted to change it,” the spokesman says in a written statement released Friday, “but, as we told the court, the sheriff’s office is obligated by the law to grant [electronic monitoring] participants essential movement two days each week. Accordingly, Mr. Brown has been given his essential movement since he was released from custody at the jail on April 22 after posting the required bail.”

It doesn’t appear that the judge has taken any action against the sheriff’s office for going against his order.

Cook County Judge Edward M. Maloney.

Injustice Watch

The SAFE-T Act says that people who have been charged with a crime and who are free on bail and on home confinement while awaiting trial must get the two furlough days a week so that they can look for work, go grocery shopping and handle other personal business without being under active monitoring.

Critics have said that Cook County judges already were allowing people on home confinement to be given such “essential movement” time during which they could leave their homes for those kinds of things.

The sheriff’s office says it doesn’t actively monitor a person’s whereabouts on electronic monitoring on furlough days.

But those crime suspects still have their GPS bracelets turned on, and sheriff’s officials can go back later to see where they’ve been.

Royal Brown.

Chicago Police Department

On March 22, Brown, 21, was charged with selling crack cocaine. He was freed from jail on an individual recognizance bond, known as an “I-bond,” which didn’t require him to post bail.

Three days later, he was arrested again, this time on a charge of illegal gun possession. Maloney then ordered a $75,000 deposit bond, known as a “D-bond,” citing Brown’s violation of the conditions of his bail in the drug case. The judge also ordered a $5,000 deposit bond in the gun case.

Deposit bonds require a defendant to post 10% of the total amount of bail in order to be released from jail.

The Chicago Community Bond Fund, which advocates for an end to pretrial detention, posted Brown’s bail, court records show.

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May 6, 2022 at 05:56PM

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