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Bill Would Eliminate Bond For Non-Violent Offenders Who Can't Pay It

CHICAGO (CBS) -- They came dressed in their "Easter Sunday best" and left with a good feeling about legislation to help free non-violent offenders.

Those attending Easter services yesterday at Greater Harvest Baptist Church at 5141 S. State Street were just as fired up about a program, announced, to help people in jail on non-violent offenses.

Former presidential and mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson's wife handed the church a check for $10,000. He also said he's been using his own money for something he believes in strongly.

Wilson's paid the bond of dozens of people and he's working with state lawmakers to pass reform legislation. Illinois House Bill 3717 and Senate Bill 522 would eliminate bond for non-violent offenders who can't afford it.

"I was raised poor, so we had to do something," said Dr. Wilson.

Lawmakers working with Wilson say the current system unfairly treats the poor.

Also Dr. Wilson continues to help homeowners keep their homes from being taken for property taxes by giving grants from his Foundation, to date totaling $160,000.

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