SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — In anticipation of a high volume and limited resources in implementing Illinois’ abolishment of cash bail next month, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an order on Wednesday that would allow courts to hold remote pretrial hearings once the SAFE-T Act goes into effect.
The Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act will abolish the use of cash bail in Illinois on September 18th.
Criminal defendants must have a pre-trial hearing before a judge in order to determine if they are suitable for immediate release or if the nature of their crime is so egregious they must be held in custody until their court date.
The SAFE-T Act requires that hearings be conducted within 48 hours of an arrest.
Due to the anticipated volume of investigations and hearings and the “current limited resources of the circuit courts”, the Supreme Court acknowledged “operational challenges” in issuing the order, allowing for judges to conduct the hearings remotely, rather than in person, as needed.
The order will remain in effect until March 18th, 2024.