Illinois Becomes First State To Ban Cash Bail Despite Law Enforcement Opposition
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 16: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker participates in a rally to support Illinois Democrats on the campus of UIC on September 16, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Vice President Kamala Harris also participated attended the rally.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

On Monday, Illinois became the first state to eliminate cash bail in a move celebrated by Democratic officials and criticized by law enforcement

After a lengthy legal battle, Illinois’ Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today Act (SAFE-T Act) went into effect on Monday, meaning that meeting cash bail can no longer be a condition for release. Democrat officials argued that cash bail disproportionately impacted minorities and low-income people who have been arrested. 

“This bill, this law was worked on in conjunction with advocates – victims’ rights advocates, domestic violence advocates, those who have been impacted by this system – who have seen people who have been able to pay their way out of jail and cause harm. This effort to detain those who hold a real threat to our public rather than detain those who are simply poor is the right thing to do,” said Cook County District Attorney Kim Foxx, a George Soros-backed prosecutor who has faced criticism over her approach to law enforcement in the Chicago area. 

In addition to abolishing cash bail, the SAFE-T Act “prevents the results of a risk assessment from being the sole basis for a detention decision and informs the accused person of the tool,” according to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. It was initially passed in January 2021, and Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an amended version in December 2022. 

The cash bail provision of the SAFE-T Act was first put on hold by the Illinois Supreme Court before it upheld the law in July, a decision criticized by the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.


“The court ignored the pleas of nearly every prosecutor in the state of Illinois, Democrat and Republican, that the elimination of cash bail will put dangerous criminals back on the street, instead of keeping them in jail or forcing them to post cash bail as they await trial. Many of those offenders will commit crimes again within hours of their release,” Illinois FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood said after the decision was released. 

“And who will have to arrest those offenders again and again? The police officers whose jobs have been made immeasurably more difficult by all of the new anti-law enforcement measures that are in place,” he added. 

Illinois Republican Rep. Mary Miller decried the law’s implementation, saying it would harm victims of crimes. 

“The left’s agenda is to Defund The Police, refuse to prosecute criminals, and release them from jail. Families deserve safe communities & victims deserve justice!” she wrote on X.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Illinois Becomes First State To Ban Cash Bail Despite Law Enforcement Opposition