NBC Chicago: Former Mayoral Candidate's 'Bond Payment Project' Secures Freedom for 6 Inmates

Six inmates gained their freedom today because of a man who not long ago ran for mayor of Chicago and president of the United States.

“This is not a black thing, it’s a human thing,” said former mayoral candidate Willie Wilson Thursday.

With the support of local clergy, politicians and the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, Wilson spent $15,000 of his own money to bond out six inmates who had been thrown into jail on low-level misdemeanor offenses.

“Some of these kids were just picked up on the street and doing nothing,” Wilson said. “Some of these kids just had a little ounce of marijuana on them and (got) locked in jail for two, three weeks or a month or years, that don’t make sense.”

Paying the inmates bond is part of Wilson’s “Bond Payment Project” which he said was born out of his push for prison reform from his time as a mayoral candidate.

Jane Gubser, of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office says the department is thankful for Wilson’s efforts.

“Dr. Wilson is supporting the sheriff’s mission that we don’t want low-level offenders sitting in our jails when they can be out in the community receiving access to resources,” Gubser said.

The inmates who posted bond due to Wilson’s generosity, like Russell Miller, thanked him.

“I am going to go back to my job and keep working,” Miller said. “I am not going to criminal trespass anymore.”