In March, pre-pandemic, when Mike and I were still doing our radio show/podcast at Lumpen Radio, our guest was State Senator Robert Peters.
You can hear the podcast here.
We wanted to talk with Senator Peters about his bill to end cash bail in Illinois.
Now, almost a year later, Senator Peter’s bill to end cash bail is coming to a vote in the Illinois legislature.
From the website of The Appeal.
The Illinois legislature will soon vote on a package of policing and criminal justice reforms, including the Pretrial Fairness Act. Introduced by Senator Robert Peters, the Act will tie pretrial release to public safety instead of money. It will require judges to release people charged with crimes before trial with the exception of a narrow set of felony offenses or if someone poses a specific harm to another individual. In all exceptions, the bill requires judges to impose the least restrictive conditions possible. The impact will be huge: data from 2016 revealed that 90% of all people in jail in Illinois were there on pretrial detention.
The evidence is clear from the experience of other jurisdictions that ending cash bail reduces the jail population with no increase in crime.
Chicago States Attorney Kim Foxx has led the way on implementing cash bail reform in Cook County. A 2020 study of Cook County’s 2017 bail reform, which doubled the number of pretrial releases in its first six months, found no resulting increase in crime.