Illinois is set to become the first state to eliminate cash bail.
The state’s Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a sweeping change of policing and criminal justice into law on Monday, ending the system that began in January 2023.
The bill also requires that all police officers be equipped with body cameras and to establish statewide standards on use-of-force, de-escalation, and arrest techniques for law enforcement.
“This law is an important step towards ending systemic racism that harms our communities, our state and our nation and brings us closer to true security,” Pritzker said in a statement.
Other states, including New York and New Jersey, have already limited the use of cash bail.
Many law enforcement say that getting rid of bail allows dangerous people to be freed while awaiting trial.
Meanwhile, critics of the system argue that this is an injustice to poor people, who may not be able to seek bail and will then be forced to remain behind bars before being convicted on charges.
Under Illinois’ new law, judges will no longer be able to grant bail of any kind. However, they will still be able to detain a defendant if they are charged with murder or domestic battery such as felony, Local shops reported
“What we have done is strengthen judicial discretion when it comes to determining whether there is a threat to an individual or a community,” said Sen. Robert Peters, a Democrat from Chicago.
“We clearly focused on it and reduced it, so money is not a factor. Money does not determine whether a person feels threatened. “
The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, which took massive measures for the state, saw it as a historic response to the death of George Floyd last year in Minneapolis and Bryo Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.
WMAQ-TV reported that Peters, chair of the Black Caucus Senate, called it “a historic first step toward winning real security and justice in our communities”.
But leading organizations representing police and prosecutors said they were not consulted for critical pieces, and argued that the police would hinder the police and discourage talented people from joining law enforcement.
“The governors are endangering public safety – endangering citizens, embracing criminals and making Illinois less safe for families,” said Illinois Republican Party President Don Tracy.
Meanwhile, the governor said the bill would boost security.
“I’m actually very confident that it’s going to make policing safer, and it’s going to make the public safer,” he said.
With post wires