PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois is set to become the first state in the country to abolish the cash bail system. With just a few months until it takes effect, there’s lots of disagreement on what the new law does and doesn’t do.
Last year, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 3653 into law, known as the Safe-T Act.
Since the bill became law it’s come under fire from Republican lawmakers and some law enforcement.
The SAFE-T Act was passed in the middle of the night with little to no input from the public, law enforcement, and State’s Attorneys. Passing important legislation in this manner is both inherently wrong and dangerous. We are hearing throughout the state from countless law enforcement officials and prosecutors about the real and serious consequences it will pose for public safety. I believe that the General Assembly must return to Springfield to immediately repeal this ill-advised law before it becomes too late.Sen. Win Stoller (R-Germantown Hills)
Over recent weeks, concerns about Illinois abolishing cash bail have become a major topic of discussion on social media.
“We’re less than two months away from an election and all of the sudden the right-wing is peddling fear, ” said State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria).
This week, Koehler and State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) pushed back on worries surrounding the new law.
“You scare everybody into thinking we’re just letting out criminals willy-nilly, that’s not true,” Koehler said.
Gordon-Booth said the law is about creating a fair and just process throughout the state.
“People should not be let out of jail based on their ability to pay, but the risk that they pose to society,” Gordon-Booth said.
She added that lawmakers have consistently met with state’s attorneys about the changes.
“To discuss implementation, to discuss tweaks, clarifications, ways to strengthen certain levels of intent,” Gordon-Booth said.
Cash bail will end in Illinois on January 1, 2023.