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updated: 12/25/2013 7:18 AM

Rev. Jackson making Christmas visit to county jail

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Associated Press

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and other clergy members from Chicago will visit inmates at Cook County Jail this Christmas Day.

During a visit last Christmas, Jackson delivered a sermon encouraging inmates to get tested for HIV, pray for forgiveness and ask for guidance to turn their lives around.

This year, he has a message for the officials running the jail.

In a statement Tuesday, the longtime civil rights leader called on Cook County to consider releasing pretrial detainees charged with nonviolent offenses who cannot afford bail.

Jackson called the bail requirements "excessive" and argued it would be cheaper for the county to release some of those detainees with electronic monitoring.

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