Illinois’ SAFE-T Act has been highly criticized by the public, law enforcement, and state’s attorneys since it was forced through the Legislature on the final day of the 2021 lame-duck session.

The “no cash bail” provisions of the law are set to take effect statewide on Sept. 18, making Illinois the first state in the nation to do away with the system completely. Effective Monday, September 18, Illinois will replace its current cash bail system with a new set of strict standards that prosecutors must meet to be able to detain certain offenders.  

Eliminating cash bail, without identifying another funding source for counties, will impact local courts’ ability to function. The “no cash bail” provision completely ignores the financial hit on local courts systems that are now going to have to make up that revenue on their own. Leaving a gap in funding for local courts and critical victims’ services could soon force counties to reduce services, raise taxes or both.

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