Illinois turns into the primary state to decide to bail clearance – NBC Chicago

Governor JB Pritzker signed a series of major reforms to the criminal justice system and the police force on Monday, including the removal of bail on remand detainees.

Under the Pretrial Fairness Act, spearheaded by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, a judge can still detain a person if they are charged with crimes such as murder or household batteries. However, those who are not seen as a threat to the community do not need to raise money to be released from prison before the trial.

The change won’t take effect until January 2023, but proponents of criminal justice reform say the law’s passage is nothing short of historic.

“The end of the borrowing – one of the major reforms – will give meaning to the ‘presumption of innocence’ of our criminal justice system,” said a statement from the Illinois Justice Project.

While Illinois is the first state to get rid of cash bail, New Jersey has largely reduced its use in recent years, and similar proposals have been made in other states.

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission in Pretrial Practices, which urged bail reform in its report last spring, found that a defendant who cannot afford bail can get his life into trouble within days – losing a job , Loss of custody of child health problems without access to medicines.

In addition, this tends to lead to false plea agreements. Someone charged with a crime, although innocent, may plead guilty to a lesser charge and be released from prison after completing the sentence for the less serious offense.

“I hope the rest of the country, if you look at this, they can see a model that says we can get rid of a tiered system of public safety so … especially if you’re a poor black person, you are not faced with a really, really terrible form of public security, “said Pritzker at a press conference.

Robert Peters, Illinois Senator and chairman of the Black Caucus Senate, described Monday as “an historic first step towards achieving real security and justice in our communities.”

“It’s a bit surreal to stand here today to see the struggle pay off and the state-level pegging of money soon to be abolished, and it inspires me to continue to stand up for our communities,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s not about me, but about all of us who are working to ensure that everyone gets well in this state.”

On the other hand, Republican House Leader Jim Durkin, a former prosecutor, said, “The bail-off basically means that we respect the honor system for violent criminals and gang members.”

In a press release on Monday, he said Illinois will not be safer because of the bill.

“Last year, Chicago was traumatized by murders and car thefts with epic acts of violence with no apparent end in sight,” said Durkin. “At a crucial time when we should unite with the good men and women of law enforcement, Governor Pritzker has turned his back on them by signing House Bill 3653.”

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