CPD must give detainees access to attorney in under 3 hours, per new consent decree

Community activists against incommunicado detention
Community activists have been calling for the end of the Chicago Police Department's practice of incommunicado detention for years. Photo credit Rachel Pierson

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A new consent decree was signed by a Cook County judge on Wednesday that ended incommunicado detention at the Chicago Police Department.

The practice involves detaining individuals for up to 48 hours without letting them have contact with the outside world, including an attorney.

“CPD thrives off Black youth knowing little to nothing about being arrested,” said Miracle Boyd, a member of the nonprofit youth organization Good Kids Mad City. “This is why we often plead guilty to things we didn't do.”

Under the decree, Chicago police will provide every arrestee or person in custody with access to communicate with an attorney.

CPD will also create private and confidential rooms in every single station for people to call and meet with their lawyers, including in the detective divisions.

“It’ll be easier for people detained by the Chicago Police Department to call a lawyer and assert their rights,” said Rodney Carr, first assistant of the Cook County Public Defender’s Office.

It also requires police districts to install telephones in every interrogation room including signage for the 24-hour Arrest Hotline: 844-817-4448.

“It means that people can, yes, call a lawyer, but they can call their loved ones,” said Alexa Van Brunt, Director of the Illinois Office of the MacArthur Justice Center. “They get three phone calls within three hours. That is the beauty of what the SAFE-T Act just gave us, and that is also in this agreement.”

The consent decree goes into effect on Feb. 1, 2023.

Van Brunt said that allows time for Chicago police officers to be trained on the new requirements.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Rachel Pierson