Supreme Court sets March timeline for oral arguments in cash bail appeal

SPRINGFIELD – An appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of a state law that would end cash bail appears to be at least two months away from resolution under a new timeline approved by the court Thursday.   Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed the agreed motion setting the timeline for the high court’s appeal of…

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SAFE-T Act’s end to cash bail paused by Illinois Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court stayed the controversial no-cash bail provisions of the SAFE-T Act Dec. 31, halting the elimination of cash bail statewide while the lower court’s decision is heard on appeal. The order targeting the pretrial provision of the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equality-Today Act came just hours before the omnibus bill was set to take…

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Judge invalidates cash bail reform in some counties; Supreme Court appeal pending

SPRINGFIELD – A Kankakee County judge ruled Wednesday that lawmakers overreached their constitutional authority in passing a measure to abolish cash bail in Illinois, while other provisions in the wide-ranging SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform were not affected by the ruling. The ruling by Judge Thomas W. Cunnington leaves the impending cash bail reform in limbo…

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Judge rules portion of SAFE-T Act ending cash bail is unconstitutional

A Kankakee County judge has ruled that the part of the controversial SAFE-T Act that ends cash bail across is unconstitutional. Judge Thomas W. Cunnington issued the ruling Wednesday night and it comes four days before cash bail was to be abolished across the state. In his ruling, Cunnington wrote “the appropriateness of bail rests…

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Governor Pritzker signs SAFE-T Act amendment

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…

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Pretrial detention changes to SAFE-T Act will head to Pritzker; Peters calls measure ‘my version of Obamacare’

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Lawmakers on Thursday passed a long-awaited amendment to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform’s provisions that will eliminate cash bail when the calendar hits 2023. The measure expands the list of crimes for which a judge can order pretrial detention, adds to what a judge can consider when determining if a defendant…

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Tracy: SAFE-T Act trailer bill improved but ‘many glaring shortcomings remain’

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) says legislative changes approved Thursday by the Senate do make improvements to the controversial SAFE-T Act but do not fully address the front-line concerns of public safety personnel tasked with protecting Illinoisans. “The changes approved Dec. 1 contain some much-needed changes. However, many glaring shortcomings remain. I support our…

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Changes to cash bail statute surface before Thursday’s planned General Assembly adjournment

SPRINGFIELD – Two days before lawmakers were scheduled to adjourn for the year, one of the lead negotiators of the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform filed a long-awaited amendment detailing several changes to the landmark cash bail overhaul. Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, filed a 308-page amendment to House Bill 1095 on Tuesday that contained several…

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Amendment 1 could force changes to Illinois’ SAFE-T Act police regulations; lawmakers back in Springfield Tuesday

Local governments in Illinois should brace for the unknown with some expecting conflicts between the SAFE-T Act and a looming constitutional amendment enshrining collective bargaining rights. Illinois state lawmakers are back in Springfield Tuesday for the final three days of session before the SAFE-T Act’s no-cash bail law takes effect Jan. 1. When lawmakers were…

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Everything Illinoisans need to know about the SAFE-T Act

The SAFE-T Act has been the source of plenty of controversy during the 2022 election cycle, becoming a favorite campaign issue for those skeptical of criminal justice reform broadly and no-cash bail in particular. Criminal justice reform advocates pushed back, labeling attacks on the bill as cynical fearmongering. So who is right? While some states have moved towards eliminating cash…

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With two session days left, SAFE-T Act changes could be forthcoming, ‘technical’ in nature

SPRINGFIELD – Changes may yet come to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform before its Jan. 1 effective date, but some of its major proponents in the General Assembly said the results of the Nov. 8 general election have signified that the ship has sailed for drastic amendments to it. “I will say, when it…

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Sixty-two state’s attorneys in Illinois asking Supreme Court to declare SAFE-T Act ‘null and void’

A bi-partisan group of 62 state’s attorneys in Illinois — including state’s attorneys from Adams, Brown and Hancock counties — who have sued to overturn the SAFE-T Act released a joint statement on Monday, asking the Illinois Supreme Court to declare the law “null and void.” “As the chief legal officers of our respective counties, we…

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With the SAFE-T Act nearly upon us, maybe it’s time to revisit peace bonds

Reforms in the criminal justice system undoubtedly were needed and probably still are. Passing the 764-page SAFE-T Act without the customary vetting of legislation might well not be what’s needed. Still, come Jan. 1, 2023, it’s the law. Muddy River News has published articles about the SAFE-T Act. For those wanting to know more, Sen.…

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Watch the SAFE-T Act Town Hall meeting on Oct. 19 at John Wood Community College

A town hall meeting about the SAFE-T act was held Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022 at John Wood Community College. Speakers were Justin Oliver, sheriff of Brown County; Adam Yates, chief of the Quincy Police Department; Todd Eyler and Gary Farha with the state’s attorney’s office in Adams County; and State Sen. Jil Tracy. This video…

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SAFE-T Act Town Hall meeting on Oct. 19, 2022

A town hall meeting about the SAFE-T act was held Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022 at John Wood Community College. Speakers were Justin Oliver, sheriff of Brown County; Adam Yates, chief of the Quincy Police Department; Todd Eyler and Gary Farha with the state’s attorney’s office in Adams County; and State Sen. Jil Tracy.

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‘I’ve never seen anything like it … I’m appalled that it got passed’: Panel pleads for changes to be made to SAFE-T Act before Jan. 1

QUINCY — Adam Yates, chief of the Quincy Police Department, offered a story about a homeowner with a pool to help illustrate the flaws of the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) criminal justice reform act. “It’s summertime, you’re out in your backyard, and there’s someone in your swimming pool who you don’t recognize,” he…

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Pritzker says he’s considering SAFE-T Act changes, Bailey urges full repeal during virtual forum

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker is considering changes to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice reform to clarify provisions related to the end of cash bail in Illinois, while his Republican challenger, state Sen. Darren Bailey, continues to push for a full repeal. The candidates shared their thoughts Friday on those and other issues during a…

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What happens when cash bail ends? As task force works to ready justice system, amendments could be forthcoming

SPRINGFIELD – Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, cash bail will be abolished in Illinois.  The measure that will eliminate it has been on the books since early 2021, giving the justice system two years to plan for the major overhaul of the state’s pretrial detention system. It’s also given time for the measure to become politicized…

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Task force hears from law enforcement on rising crime rate; police chiefs, sheriffs warn lawmakers about impact of SAFE-T Act

SPRINGFIELD – Police chiefs and sheriffs told a panel of state lawmakers Friday that they need more resources and support from the public and the General Assembly to combat a rising rate of violent crime in Illinois. Some said they don’t feel they are getting that now, especially in light of recently-enacted criminal justice reforms.…

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Illinois Republicans announce effort to repeal SAFE-T Act; Democrats call it ‘all for show’

Republicans are calling for their Democratic counterparts in the Illinois House to join them in efforts to repeal criminal justice reforms, known as the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, commonly known as the SAFE-T Act. Reps. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, and Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, joined House GOP Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs,…

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