On Monday, Illinois became the first state to eliminate the cash bail system that kept people in jail without being convicted of a crime – simply because they couldn’t afford to pay the bail, according to a report from The Root.
Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law the bill that would end the practice across Illinois by 2023.
Pritzker noted the impact this bill would have on racial justice calling it part of, “Illinois’ effort to lead the country in dismantling systemic racism.”
In addition to bail reform, there are other criminal justice reforms included in the bill that have become popular in the wake of last summer’s protests against police violence.
The bill “requires that all police officers in the state wear body cameras by 2025, creates a duty for cops to intervene when they witness other officers using unauthorized force and raises standards for the issuance of no-knock warrants, among other criminal justice reform measures,” as stated by The Root.
The bill was authored by the Illinois legislature’s Black Caucus.
In a written statement to The Root, state Rep. Sonya Harper, chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, said, “These measures begin to build a smarter system where sentencing and bail decisions are based on the safety of the public rather than the wealth and skin color of the defendant, and where bad actors in our police departments are held accountable while those who serve with integrity have the resources they need.”
Supporters of the bill, particularly those who’ve led the fight against cash bond, have lauded the Illinois Black Caucus and Gov. Pritzker for their efforts in getting this legislation passed.