Illinois Governor Signs Law To End Cash Bail


On Monday (February 22), Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law that will end cash bail, making it the first state to do so. The bill will also introduce other criminal justice reform and has received praise from advocacy groups, according to the Chicago Tribune

Under the law, HB 3653, the cash bail system will end in 2023. By 2025, all police officers in the state will be required to wear body cameras on the job. The legislation also puts an end to the requirement of a sworn affidavit when a person files a complaint against a police officer, and establishes a system to track police misconduct statewide. 

The measurement was a part of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ push for reform following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota last year. 

The cash bail system has been the source of many conversations about changing the criminal justice system in the US for its role in increasing jail populations across the country. According to the Center for American Progress, an estimated three out of five people in jails haven’t been convicted of a crime, they’re unable to pay bail before their trial date. That amounts to about half a million people, and is disproportionately made up of Black people and other people of color, as well as low income people. 

Civil Rights attorney Benjamin Crump praised the bill’s passage on Twitter.

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