ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Before it even hits the Illinois House floor, a bill that includes many social justice police reforms is causing controversy.
One part of the 611-page amendment to House Bill 163, a massive police reform initiative introduced Friday by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, is the Pretrial Fairness Act, which would abolish cash bail.
Winnebago County State’s Attorney J Hanley and llinois State’s Attorney’s Association President Justin Hood released a statement in regards to why they oppose the bill:
“While criminal justice reform is warranted, this attempt to pass a 611-page bill that will fundamentally change law enforcement and criminal justice system in a five-day lame duck session is not the responsible way to do so.”
Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana also released a statement:
The aim of the legislation would set free certain criminal offenders without having to wait in jail for their court date, because they can’t afford bond.
69 District Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R) and 67th District Rep. Maurice West (D) also weighed in on the bill.
Advocates for the abolishment of cash bail view it as a pillar of institutional racism within the criminal justice system.
Instead, a judge would issue pre-trial release conditions for offenders, something local pastors have been pushing for, saying the change is necessary to improve the criminal justice system.