CHICAGO (AP) - A chief judge for one of the nation's busiest judicial districts is changing Cook County's bail procedures to ensure suspects won't be held behind bars solely because they're too poor to pay.
An order Chief Judge Timothy Evans signed Monday applies to suspects already found not to pose a threat. It requires that judges set bail at amounts such defendants can afford.
The Cook County Sheriff Office has said up to 300 people are jailed each day because they can't post bonds of $1,000 or less, contributing to overcrowding in the county jail.
Guidelines in Monday's order explain how judges can calculate the right amount of bail that suspects can afford and that will also ensure they show up for hearings.
The new policy begins taking effect Sept. 18.