Illinois jails preparing for cash bail to end in the coming days

Bail money no longer needed starting Monday for suspects
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:56 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

METRO EAST, Il. (KMOV) - Illinois will end cash bail starting on Monday, meaning some inmates may be released for alleged crimes that they couldn’t afford to pay bail for.

As part of the SAFE-T Act, cash bail will be eliminated for individuals jailed for suspected crimes. A judge will now determine if the suspect can be released back into the public under pre-trial conditions.

Under the new law, police must issue citations for suspects accused of low-level misdemeanors. Those individuals will be given a court date and released.

The following offenses will likely keep a suspected offender behind bars: domestic battery, stalking, predatory criminal sexual assault, violations of order of protection, most gun charges and murder.

If a judge allows a suspect to be released under pre-trial conditions, a prosecutor can request the suspect remain in jail and then the judge can grant or deny the request. Victims must be notified if a suspect is released.

“It’s a great start on the road to racial and economic dignity,” said Larita Rice-Barnes, executive director of the Metro East Organizing Coalition. A grassroots organization aimed at ending mass incarceration. “The truth is this is not about safety--this is about people’s ability to have money.”

“I think there’s potential for thefts and burglaries to increase,” Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said. “A lot the investigative part and reports need to get done a lot quicker.”

Sheriff Rohlfing told First Alert 4 more resources are needed to keep up with new demands of ending cash bail, which means taxpayers might have to foot the bill.

“I just did my budget today and we’ve asked for additional resources, but that will be up to the county board,” he added.

Sheriff Rohlfing said potentially three or four inmates will be released on Monday.