Cash bail will be eliminated in Illinois after justices rule SAFE-T Act constitutional

By Jerry Nowicki

Capitol News Illinois

A landmark criminal justice reform that eliminates cash bail in Illinois is constitutional, the state’s supreme court ruled Tuesday, July 18, paving the way for the change to take effect Sept. 18.

The 5-2 decision – handed down on partisan lines – means that an individual’s wealth will no longer play a role in whether they are incarcerated while awaiting trial. Judges can still order someone to be detained as they await trial, but the new system will be based on an offender’s level of risk of reoffending or fleeing prosecution, rather than their ability to afford bail.

For more information, please see this week’s print edition.