Illinois Criminal Justice Plan Will Get Rid of Cash Bail Starting in 2023

Starting on January 1, 2023, the state of Illinois is expected to eliminate its cash bail system.

However, several southern Illinois elected officials and law enforcement figures believe it could make communities less safe.

“I believe the elimination of cash bail, particularly as it’s written in the SAFE-T Act, will reduce public safety and lead to more crime particularly more violent crime in Illinois,” declared State Representative Patrick Windhorst, who is a former state’s attorney.

Windhorst called attention to how he voted against the bill when it was brought to the floor for a roll call vote.

The Illinois SAFE-T Act is ostensibly designed to reform the state’s criminal justice system.

“I know that 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, beginning January 1st, a lot of their ability to do their jobs has been restrained,” the state representative added.

Johnson County Sheriff Peter Sopczak shared Windhorst’s sentiments.

“Anyone sitting in jail right now with all these pending charges, they’re going to be let out,” Sopczak stated. “The gates are open and they’re going to be let out onto the streets.”

In Sheriff Sopczak’s view, fewer suspects will end up behind bars. Only suspects who are accused of making deadly threats could be sent to jail.

“So it’s really taking the hands out of the police arresting people. We’re going to end up calling someone saying, ‘Can we arrest them?’ Just because of liability if you take someone into custody and it doesn’t meet all the criteria, well, then you can get in trouble,” stated Sopczak.

Sopczak also said that he’s unclear about how the law will be implemented.

Windhorst pointed out a number of offenses that won’t lead to detention prior to a suspect going to trial.

“So there are a whole list of violent crimes, burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, almost all drug offenses even drug distribution, DUI offenses, even DUI offenses that are involving a fatality, that do not qualify for detention under the Illinois Safety Act. To me, that’s going to mean a lot of individuals are committing crimes and being released immediately, if not within a couple of days,” Windhorst outlined.

Illinois is the first state in the nation to abolish cash bail.

This soft-on-crime initiative will prove to be a social disaster in the long-run for Illinois. Criminals must be put behind bars, especially those with long rap sheets. Cold, hard logic, not feelings, should be dictating criminal justice policies.

Illinois’ embrace of cash bail abolition is not a shock. This is a state that’s home to Chicago, a bastion of the cultural Left that enthusiastically adopts policies that benefit criminals. BLP previously reported on Cook County’s decision in 2019 to permanently delete its gang database because it featured too large a number of African Americans and Hispanics — two groups that statistically commit a large portion of crimes.

This kind of policy insanity is what turns once illustrious cities into veritable Gotham-like statelets that criminals control. Illinois may likely be far gone on a policy level but its case should serve as a lesson to red states on what not to do when it comes to criminal justice policies.

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