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SAFE-T Act news coverage roundup

Thursday, Oct 13, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller


Over half of the 102 State’s Attorneys in Illinois have filed lawsuits against the act.

Knox County State’s Attorney, Jeremy Karlin said the process is unconstitutional.

“There are good arguments the statute is unconstitutional, because first of all, the Illinois constitution talks about a cash bail being used,” he explained. “So it’s specifically mentioned in our constitution. The statute doesn’t take into account, adequately, the rights of victims. These crime victim rights are institutionalized in the Illinois Constitution. So it’s the separation of powers issue. I think the most significant constitutional problem is that because the statute is more worded poorly and so vaguely, implementation of the statute is going to look different in every county.”

State’s Attorney Karlin is one of many who filed a lawsuit but said there are plans to consolidate all lawsuits into one.

* Daily Herald

With a Jan. 1, 2023, enforcement date looming on the Pre-Trial Fairness Act component of the SAFE-T Act, Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser said she hopes that changes to the bill in the State House can provide some clarity on how parts of the law should be enforced.

Signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last year, the Illinois Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act implements sweeping reform impacting many aspects of the criminal justice system, including pre-arrest diversion, policing, pretrial, sentencing, and corrections.

Mosser said the Pre-Trial Fairness Act (PFA), which is best known for eliminating cash bail, helps replace an “antiquated system.”

“We are moving toward a system that is actually better, that will detain people who should be detained,” she said.


McLean County’s top prosecutor says that her lawsuit aimed at stopping the criminal justice reform law known as the SAFE-T Act is not a negotiating tactic and that she’s not “opposed to responsible bail reform.”

Erika Reynolds, who was appointed state’s attorney last month, filed the lawsuit last week along with McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage. Both are Republicans; the four defendants are the Democratic governor, attorney general and two legislative leaders. Their lawsuit, assigned to Judge Rebecca Foley, is very similar in language – identical in parts – to those filed by law enforcement officials in other Illinois counties, including Tazewell.

The intention is to consolidate those complaints into a single lawsuit, said Reynolds.

“This is just one tool that we have in our tool chest to try to address the concerns we have,” Reynolds told WGLT. “But no, it’s not a negotiation tactic.” […]

In their press release, Reynolds and Sandage said a “reasonable compromise” is possible and that they support “meaningful, responsible bail reform.” Reynolds on Wednesday declined to describe what that might look like. She said the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association was involved in negotiations with stakeholders, including lawmakers, and she didn’t want to undermine that.

* Greg Hinz

Pritzker is right that there’s a lot of bad information being spun out there about what the SAFE-T Act does and doesn’t do. And he has political reasons not to provoke his base right before an election by calling for wholesale changes in the bill.

But if the perception that crime is out of control is hurting business—helllooooo, Ken Griffin—Pritzker’s job is to change the perception. And posturing about a tweak here or there while letting the General Assembly take the lead isn’t going to change the perception. Only a governor can be bold, not a gaggle of legislators.

We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks. But you can bet your ballot box that rival gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey will have something to say about this when he meets with the Crain’s edit board later today.

* Daily Herald

The two men running for Kane County Sheriff have concerns about the SAFE-T Act and support offering drug treatment programs for those in the county jail. […]

[Incumbent Democrat Ron] Hain said he’s spent the last 2½ years understanding the act, how it will be implemented and making lawmakers aware of concerns about it. He estimates about one-fourth of the current jail population would be eligible for release under the cashless bail system that would take effect Jan. 1 under the law.

He said he has continued to “press the issue” but also has worked to be prepared for whatever changes may come Jan. 1.

[Jeff] Bodin said he believes the SAFE-T Act has some good aspects — such as mandating body cameras for police officers — while other parts of the Act are troubling. He is concerned the law limits what offenses would qualify for detention pretrial.

“It’s going to be a disaster,” he said, echoing critics’ claims that some serious offenses may not be eligible for detention. “I’m fine with a low-level offense being released … but to let a serious offender out of jail … is going to be an absolute disaster.”

* Just to wrap this all up…

Nope. That’s a totally different working group


  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Oct 13, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    –“This is just one tool that we have in our tool chest to try to address the concerns we have,” Reynolds told WGLT. “But no, it’s not a negotiation tactic.”–


  2. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Thursday, Oct 13, 22 @ 12:36 pm:

    “But if the perception that crime is out of control is hurting business—helllooooo, Ken Griffin—Pritzker’s job is to change the perception.”

    Right? Pritzker needs to do a better job of playing footsie with our idiot local media if he wants them to stop hyperventilating about crime and do any real reporting.

    Greg Hinz is old enough to remember what crime in America was like from the mid 1960s through the mid 1990s, so I’m not sure why I’m expected to buy his “I’ve never seen it like this!!!” routine.

  3. - Rabid - Thursday, Oct 13, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    Send $5,000 in PayPal to DeVore problem solved

  4. - Norseman - Thursday, Oct 13, 22 @ 12:44 pm:

    Good thing the States Attorneys aren’t answering questions under oath.

  5. - H-W - Thursday, Oct 13, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    States Attorneys and Sheriffs are elected officials.

    I wonder how many of these elected officials are running for re-election this year and next cycle?

    Just curious

  6. - Name Withheld - Thursday, Oct 13, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    I wonder how much of the opposition to this is really because many counties rely on cash bail to pad their budgets, and eliminating it would mean eliminating a source of revenue.

  7. - charles in charge - Thursday, Oct 13, 22 @ 2:22 pm:

    Mary Ann “Bailey won the debate” Ahern steps in it again.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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