In 2023, the state of Illinois will be making many modifications, including getting rid of its cash bail system.
However, some officials and politicians believe that it could make neighborhoods more dangerous.
The Illinois SAFE-T Act is a legislation geared at making changes to the state’s criminal justice system.
“I know after talking with prosecutors and law enforcement officers, they’re really concerned that the public is going to point the finger at them and say, ‘Why aren’t you doing more about these offenses?’ And with this major change in the law, a lot of their ability to do their jobs has been restrained,” said one state representative.
The sheriff of Johnson County concurred with the statement.
“Anyone sitting in jail right now with all these pending charges, they’re going to be let out. The gates are open, and they’re going to be let out onto the streets.”
Reports indicate that the bill passed with the encouragement of upstate lawmakers. Supporters of the law say that it isn’t right to keep people jailed only because they can’t pay bail.
Sheriff Peter Sopczak stated that not as many suspects will end up in jail. Just suspects participating in deadly occurrences could be held in custody.
He added that he isn’t aware of how the law will be managed.
Violent offenses, burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, nearly all drug offenses, DUI offenses, and DUI offenses involving death, won’t qualify for detention under the Illinois Safe-T Act.
“That’s going to mean a lot of individuals are committing crimes and being released immediately, if not within a couple of days,” the state representative added.
Illinois is the first state in the nation to eliminate cash bail.