About 100 people charged with murder in Cook County, Illinois, are on home monitoring, not behind bars, according to the sheriff.
"Seventy-five to 80 percent of my people on home monitoring are charged with a violent offense," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said Monday, CBS Chicago reported. "I have about 100 people on home monitoring who are charged with murder."
Chicago is located in the county and is home to more than 40% of Illinois residents. It is the second most-populous county in the country, behind Los Angeles County. Dart said the electronic monitoring program in his county is the largest in the country, with about 2,600 people in the program.
Data from the sheriff’s office show 90 people charged with murder are in the program, as well as 40 people charged with attempted murder and 852 people charged with aggravated gun possession, WGN9 reported.
"Do you feel safer knowing these numbers? I don’t think any sane person does," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said of the data, according to the outlet.
Klevontaye White, for example, was wanted by police over the summer after he escaped home electronic monitoring, CBS Chicago reported. He faced more than a dozen counts of aggravated sexual assault and was shot and killed by Chicago police amid an armed stand-off in July.
"Home monitoring is not a program for people charged with violent offenses," Dart said.
Dart explained that while most people don’t reoffend while on home monitoring, 2017 reforms limiting cash bonds landed more violent offenders in the home monitoring program.
Dart said that another home monitoring program is also active under Chief Judge Tim Evans’ office, but he doesn’t know how many other suspects are enrolled in that program.
"The notion of having two systems to me is illogical," Dart said, according to CBS Chicago. "I have literally no idea how many people are in that program."
Lightfoot asked Evans last month to remove violent offenders from the program, but Evans rejected the plan.
"The mayor’s proposal seems to require that defendants facing certain allegations be considered guilty until proven innocent," he said.
Chicago has been rocked by crimes over recent months. The city recorded 797 homicides last year, 25 more than 2020 and the highest number recorded since 1996. There were 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021, 300 more than 2020 and 1,415 more than 2019.