Governor Pritzker signs SAFE-T Act amendment

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Gov. JB Pritzker (D-Illinois)

CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker signed HB1095 on Tuesday, which provides a series of amendments and clarifications to the SAFE-T Act, originally passed in 2021.

The bill clarifies the detention net, expands processes for transitioning to cashless bail on January 1, and offers specifying definitions of willful flight and dangerousness, among other changes.

“I’m pleased that the General Assembly has passed clarifications that uphold the principle we fought to protect: to bring an end to a system where wealthy violent offenders can buy their way out of jail, while less fortunate nonviolent offenders wait in jail for trial,” Pritzker said. “Advocates and lawmakers came together and put in hours of work to strengthen and clarify this law, uphold our commitment to equity, and keep people safe.”  

The bill clarifies multiple aspects of the SAFE-T Act, which ends the cash bail system in Illinois effective January 1, 2023. The clarifications to the SAFE-T Act are the result of the work of a legislative group who collaborated with advocates, public defenders, state’s attorneys, victim advocates, and law enforcement officials.

Changes to the Act clarify court authority in controlling electronic monitoring and escape, outline specific guidelines for trespassing violations, and create a grant program to aid public defenders with increased caseloads. The amendments strengthen and clarify the main principle of the SAFE-T Act- to ensure that individuals who pose a risk to the community aren’t released from jail just because they are able to pay bail while people without financial means sit in jail regardless of whether they pose a risk at all.

“When we passed the original SAFE-T Act, we did so with the understanding that more work would need to be done to implement these historic reforms,” said Rep. Justin Slaughter (D-Chicago). “This legislation clarifies and strengthens the law, reflecting the input and agreement of law enforcement, survivor advocates, and reformers. The work of building a fairer justice system continues…”

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