Criticism heightens as IL law ending cash bail nears

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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ILLINOIS (KMOV) - Illinois’ Safe-T Act is set to go into effect in January, but criticism remains from some law enforcement and prosecutors in the Metro East.

The law is set to end cash bail and let a judge decide if someone should be released back into the public or remain in jail until trial.

“There’s still going to be things like risk assessments done, and judges will still have the opportunity to issue a no bond status if they feel a person is truly a threat or danger to society,” said SLU Criminal Justice Professor Kenya Brumfield-Young.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine issued a press release Wednesday denouncing the law. Haine told News 4 the Madison County Jail will have to release more than 100 inmates to comply with the state law.

“The judge only has discretion for those few crimes for which the law says pretrial release can be denied,” Haine said. “Only approximately half of our current jail population are charged with crimes for which the judge has discretion to detain them.”

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker posted on Facebook that the “law does not mandate the release of defendants or create non-detainable offenses.”

East St. Louis nonprofit Teens Against Killing Everywhere (TAKE) recently received about $800,000 from the State of Illinois to start a program called R3: Restore. Reinvest. Renew. The program is aimed at providing resources and skills for convicted felons reentering society.

“We do not lean to any type of political party, we are solely in this for the outcomes,” said Johnathan Marchbanks, chief operations officer for TAKE. “And I feel reassured that the work that we’re doing is necessary. It’s benefitting our community, and we are seeing some positive things happening as a result of it.”

You can contact TAKE here or at (618)920-8344.