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Pritzker will sign criminal justice reform bill into law today

Monday, Feb 22, 2021

* The governor included funding for programs connected to the criminal justice reform bill in his proposed budget last week. The only real question was when he would sign the bill. Today’s the day

Gov. JB Pritzker will sign a massive criminal justice reform bill Monday.

The bill, which is over 700 pages in length, will eliminate cash bail in Illinois. It will let [accused] criminal offenders be set free without waiting in jail for their court date if they cannot afford bail. A judge would issue pre-trial release conditions for Illinois offenders.

In addition, the bill would mandate the use of police body cameras for all officers and limit the use of force, among other changes.

The bill was met with some criticism by law enforcement and groups such as the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Association, which said the bill “will profoundly undermine public safety and overturn long-standing common-sense policies and practices in the criminal justice system.” Others were critical of the bill potentially not being fully read through before it passed.

* ABC 7

“In the wake of the last summer’s protests against police violence and the responses to the release of the video showing the humiliation and harassment of Anjanette Young, there is little doubt about the strong support for additional police accountability and criminal justice reform,” said Khadine Bennett, director of advocacy and intergovernmental affairs at the ACLU of Illinois in a statement.”

* CBS 2

“Some of the backlash that you were hearing that you’re talking about is partisan in nature, so it shows to me that it is not about policy – it is about politics,” said state Sen. Elgie Sims Jr. (D-Chicago).

“There are some provisions in the bill that do take time to accomplish – so they don’t necessarily – the bill’s signed, and they need to implement it tomorrow,” said state Sen. David Welter (R-Morris). “There are portions of this bill that’ll be one, two years out.”

The signing ceremony begins at noon today.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

26 Comments »
  1. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 9:53 am:

    So, if some law enforcement officials are to be believed, there will be mass police officer resignations beginning tomorrow?


  2. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:04 am:

    === Illinois State’s Attorney’s Association, which said the bill “will profoundly undermine public safety” ===

    So I’m clear, this is the same group which has many members ignoring the prosecution of public health and safety regulations for the past 12 months related to a pandemic.

    I wonder how long it will take some individuals and groups to understand or acknowledge the reputation they’ve given themselves over the past 12 months. It’s not 2019 anymore.

    Regulatory capture seems to have become just a way of life. That it is seemingly so entrenched at this level of government between the legislative and these other department trying to dictate to the legislative branch how these branches should be able to operate, is a perfect example of why this reform is needed in the first place.


  3. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:05 am:

    To quote our President, this is a BFD.


  4. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:11 am:

    == there will be mass police officer resignations beginning tomorrow? ==

    Probably not massive, but it is likely the ones already eligible for retirement may decide to exit soon than they might have.

    Kind of like the 2002 ERI pushed a bunch of people to retire 5 or 10 years sooner than they might otherwise have done.


  5. - H-W - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:12 am:

    @ Elvis If people resign over a theoretical idea that has not been applied or attempted, that’s a pretty sad indictment regarding those who resign for political purpose, rather than community service.

    I have read the bill thoroughly. There are in fact a lot of good ideas (hypotheses) in it, and fewer potentially scary ideas(hypotheses). But fear mongering (”we will quit if we do not get out way”) is out of line, and disrespectful the communities being served.

    At least, that is how this ole timer looks at it.


  6. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    The Criminal Justice Reform legislation does not contain any penalties for noncompliance on Body Cams. The only hook they have is certain grant monies can be held up. The camera storage cost for 24/7 coverage per officer, plus a 90-day archive is a huge expense for COVID strapped municipal budgets.


  7. - Jocko - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:15 am:

    Between last week’s Trib articles documenting police missteps regarding this summer’s riots and John Catanzara’s possible firing…it will be interesting what FOP’s response today will be


  8. - Quibbler - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:20 am:

    == So, if some law enforcement officials are to be believed, there will be mass police officer resignations beginning tomorrow? ==

    Threatening us with a good time.


  9. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:20 am:

    “Kind of like the 2002 ERI”

    Oh, thank you George Ryan.

    However, it did clear out some dead wood.


  10. - Actual Red - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:23 am:

    Officers who resign because they don’t want to be held accountable for abuse of their power should not have been on the force to begin with.


  11. - Homebody - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    == Officers who resign because they don’t want to be held accountable for abuse of their power should not have been on the force to begin with. ==

    I agree completely. If your reaction to someone telling you to be better at your job is to quit, that is probably best for everyone involved.


  12. - Holding Back - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:36 am:

    What about the court system being funded? I guess it goes back to people who follow the rules being punished again.


  13. - SSL - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:46 am:

    I give JB credit for his willingness to take the risks associated with this bill. He has a vision for the state and is following through. Hopefully this can assist in slowing the population decline.


  14. - west wing - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:47 am:

    There are may positive attributes of this bill, which took many months of hearings to cobble together. Unfortunately, the lack of statewide communication by proponents has put proponents on defense throughout much of the state.


  15. - Wyatt Earp - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    What most are failing to understand, is that law enforcement isn’t upset about the accountability and transparency clauses. It’s the other trash in the bill. No longer be able to arrest for class B and C misdemeanors? Why are officers forbidden from reviewing their body cameras when doing their report, but anyone with a FOIA can? How about the inability to control a crime scene now that the offense of obstructing a peace officer has virtually been removed? These is a small example of the issues law enforcement is frustrated with. It’s not body cameras being required and added police accountability.


  16. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:56 am:

    “but anyone with a FOIA can?”

    And, as anyone who has ever filed a FOIA knows, those requests are answered toot-sweet.


  17. - Nearly Normal - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:59 am:

    Any word on possibly being amended by the Governor?


  18. - Wyatt Earp - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 11:03 am:

    @Flyin’ Elvis

    Can you explain the rationale for not allowing officers to review the body cam footage? Isn’t everyone in pursuit of the truth? It can’t be altered and it can’t be erased. The defense will see it, the state’s attorney will see it, the judge and jury will see it, but the officer can’t?

    There’s only one possible purpose of this…. hopes that the officer leaves out/forgets something in the report and then the defense uses it to either get the fact thrown out or discredit the officer.


  19. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 12:12 pm:

    First hand knowledge would be yourself. Are you talking about yourself? Because that seems a little tacky.

    Anything else you’ve heard is hearsay, and quite frankly nobody is going to miss any of them anymore than anyone is missing the people who harp on moving out of the state because they don’t like paying taxes.


  20. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 12:13 pm:

    - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 10:13 am:

    Hey Donnie, I see you haven’t mentioned the $3 billion in police misconduct judgments over the past decade? Maybe the cops should’ve saved some of that money by following the constitution?

    https://www.themarshallproject.org/2021/02/22/police-misconduct-costs-cities-millions-every-year-but-that-s-where-the-accountability-ends


  21. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 12:29 pm:

    Wyatt Earp-

    If you think a cop won’t have access to their body cam footage you haven’t spent any time in any police department, squad room, or district.

    During my time in law enforcement there were thousands of confidential documents, interviews, and other materials that I had unauthorized access to.

    Your attempt to make this about some issue that isn’t is faux outrage.


  22. - H-W - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 12:35 pm:

    @ Wyatt The body camera issue is going to be a learning curve, as more and more law enforcement officers are compelled to wear them. As to the issue of allowing officers to review the video BEFORE giving testimony, I am not sure I can justify that. However, AFTER sworn testimony, I think it would become a valuable training tool.

    As to the bill more broadly, my primary concern is the viability of County jails and Sheriff Departments associated with the reduction of fines associated with jailing people.


  23. - Wyatt Earp - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 1:05 pm:

    @ H-W

    Why shouldn’t they be allowed to watch? The defendant can watch before court, the prosecutor can watch, the defense attorney can watch? Why not the police?

    If the interest is justice and truth, there’s no valid argument for the officer not being able to review his body cam footage for completing reports.


  24. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 1:26 pm:

    “If the interest is justice and truth, there’s no valid argument for the officer not being able to review his body cam footage for completing reports.”

    Yes, there is…it’s so officers can’t see what they are going to falsely claim they didn’t do…but you knew that…didn’t you.


  25. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 2:10 pm:

    Police Officers who serve the public answer to the public…in every Democracy.

    Some number of police officers seem to harbor an adversarial attitude towards the public (in general)…”confusing” the innocent with criminals…especially the darker skinned portion.

    Racism permeates our society…completely.

    A change is going to come…have no doubt…feel the arc bend…toward justice…today.

    Today is a good day.


  26. - Concerned - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 6:05 pm:

    Thank you Wyatt Earp…..common sense. Also, this is a democracy, and why shouldn’t they be allowed to see it????


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