By: Kiara Hardin
Did you all hear that they are supposed to be getting rid of cash bail?
Last month, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Illinois Pre-Trial Fairness (IPTF) Act. This bill eliminates the cash bail system, also known as the poor people's tax, by 2023; the tax has a negative impact on predominantly people of color, leaving those who cannot pay in jail awaiting pretrial. The Illinois Justice Project said in a statement, “ The end of cash bond -- one of the most important reforms -- will put meaning into our criminal justice system's presumption of innocence.”
The IPTF Act also talks about expanding training opportunities for police officers, decertifying police officers who commit misconduct, and improving a victims compensation program by making resources more readily available 1 . Of course people who are opps and folks who support them are not really feeling the reform bill. The Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition, a collection of police unions and organizations representing police officers and county sheriffs, made a statement insinuating the bill puts the public at risk.
"We urge all citizens to remember who supported this law," the statement concludes, "and keep that in mind the next time they look to the police in Illinois for the protection they can no longer provide" 2.
That only sounds like a threat if you use to callin’ the police ...insert emoji eye roll, any who.
I dare to question if this is as historic as many want us to believe. Many of the policies take effect a few years from now and are not weakening police unions or requiring reallocation of police budgets. Yes, eliminating the cash bail system is great but what are the replacements; where will the funding for home monitoring systems come from? Will they take a more restorative approach and focus on repairing the harm caused?
What do you’ll think?
Join the Conversation @iLLANOiZE , #ILcashbail